An anonymous former Botswana official has admitted that his government ousted the G/wi and G//ana people from their homes in 2002 in order to expedite a proposed diamond mining project.

According to an article in the current issue of Dissident Voice: A Radical Newsletter in the Struggle for Peace and Justice, the highly-placed official told James G. Workman, an American environmental journalist, “I have seen the plans; I have looked at the blueprints…. But of course the water cut-off has to do with diamonds. It has everything to do with diamonds.”

The government has repeatedly told critics and the press that it was solely acting in the best interests of the San peoples when it removed them from their homes and resettled them in squalid refugee camps outside the reserve. It has consistently denied that its actions had anything to do with the search for diamonds in the desert. These statements appear to have been lies.

The article is credited to Survival International, the British NGO that has championed the San in their struggle against the injustices of the Botswana government. James Workman, who was contacted by the government official, is the author of the book Heart of Dryness: How the Last Bushmen Can Help Us Endure the Coming Age of Permanent Drought.

It discusses the specifics of the Botswana vendetta against the San peoples in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve—the way government agents destroyed their boreholes and dumped out their stores of water. Workman uses the San conflict with the Botswana government as an example of the stresses the rest of humanity will soon face as water resources worldwide dry up. The book was published in August by the Walker Company.