Francistown High Court Judge Lot Moroka has urged couples to find other alternatives of nurturing and protecting their marriages and stop running to courts seeking payments (damages) from third parties while their spouses willingly participated in the same wrong act.
Moroka made the ruling this week when he was deciding a case in which one Precious Kgaje dragged before the court, Oreneeile Mhotsha for a claim of adultery. The plaintiff wanted the court to award her claim based on the light of the changing morals of our society. She argued that the claim of adultery serves to protect the integrity of the marital institution, adding that it must be left intact.
The defendant on the other hand argued that the claim was invasive and that it violated her right to privacy, freedom of association, freedom and security of the person as enshrined in Section 7, 9 and 13 of the Constitution of Botswana. She also argued that the action in adultery no longer reflects the moral convictions of society. In his ruling, Judge Moroka threw away the application of the woman who pleaded for a claim from the third party and ruled in favour of the third party.
He stated that, “The delict of adultery is no longer consistent with the boni mores of contemporary Botswana. The actio iniuriarum based on adultery which affords the innocent spouse a claim for contumelia and loss of consortium is no longer wrongful and thus no longer available as part of our law,” he ruled.
The judge said that an innocent spouse troubled by the intrusive adulterous conduct of the third party has various other remedies available to put an end to the intrusion. “In this regard approaching the court for a restraining order against the third party may be more effective that an order for damages in that upon violation of the restraining order, the innocent spouse may seek consequential enforcement of the restraining order.”
This, the judge noted, may result even in imprisonment of the adulterous third party for contempt or violation of the restraining order. The judge, nonetheless, stressed that there was need to observe that adultery remains and will always be objectionable conduct, adding that from religious perspective it remains a sin. He said it is important however, to observe that adultery is not possible without the willing participation of the guilty spouse.
The defendant’s attorney Manyothwane Manyothwane had argued that adultery cannot occur without the participation of one of the spouses. He said but the law insulates the adulterous spouse from any delictual claim for the adultery against him or her. The attorney went on to argue that when two people commit a wrong and action is taken against one of them, it constitutes unequal treatment. “This in turn offends against the constitutional principle of equality before the law. The husband of the plaintiff is a co-perpetrator to the adultery. How do we justify his insulation from lawsuit by his aggrieved wife?” he had asked.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.