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Life | Regopstaan’s Dream

On March 21st, 1999, at a ceremony in the Kalahari Desert, 300 of the world’s remaining Bushmen were granted 125,000 acres of their own land for the first time by the South African government. Twenty five years earlier, they’d been evicted from the Kalahari by the previous, apartheid government of South Africa who said they were “too westernized” to cohabit with the wild animals in the National Park. Forced to live in shanty conditions on a patch of land just outside the park, their eviction was just one more chapter in a genocide that had gone on for generations – white settlers who arrived in South Africa in the 17th century had actually hunted the Bushmen for sport. As South Africa’s respected broadsheet, The Mail & Weekly, summed it up, the Bushmen’s story is “the most burtal, yet ignored, shame in this country’s history.” Regopstaan Kruiper was an elder in the Khomani clan of the Bushmen who initiated the fight to regain control of their ancestral lands. ‘Regopstaan’s Dream’ follows the story of his son, Dawid Kruiper’s campaign to make the dream come true – by making sure the South African government honour their agreement to allow him and his extended family rights to live in their Kalahari home.

 

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