XAXABA RESIDENTS TO SUE GOVT FOR BRUTALITY
Families who were assaulted and whose properties were confiscated and burnt down by wildlife officers as penalty for fishing and cutting grass “inside Moremi Game reserve” last year are suing government for brutality.
This comes after the wildlife department failed more than three times to address Xaxaba community regarding boundaries of the western side of the reserve and prooe that indeed Gubenare is inside the reserve.
Baleseng Sibi and his wife, Tamara Sibi were among those who were arrested and detained inside police cells during the raid.
“We have been waiting for answers but they are not coming forth. As far as I know, we were not inside the reserve and we had valid fishing and grass cutting licences. We do not understand why we were harassed and brutalised by the police and wildlife officers. We need justice,” explained Baleseng Sibi this week.
In a letter written to Maun Administration Authority (MAA), the wildlife department explained that it is still clueless in regards to the boundary coordinates, “This serves to inform you that the above matter has not yet been fully attended to as department of wildlife and national parks is still waiting for proper coordinates, which shows the inclusion of Gubanare area, which falls within second extension into Moremi Game reserve.”
The letter further reads that, “A letter requesting assistance from Tawana Landboard was written on the 8th November 2019, for which we are still awaiting response.”
This has angered Bojanala councillor, Luke Motlaleselelo who accused the wildlife of harassing people without reasonable explanation, “The big question is, when they arrested and confiscated people’s property, which coordinates were they using? What did they use to attain court order to destroy the property? Someone has to account for this,” Motlaleselelo stated.
His suspecion he says is that these government departments maybe buying time to cover their wrong.
The kgotla meeting was sanctioned by MAA last year soon after the incident, but meetings have been postponed and the same excuse given over and over again, “They just don;t want to admit to their mistake,” Motlaleselelo added.