Connect with us
Advertisement

Govt coughs out P1.5 million for assaulting a student

Police unlawfully assaulted a minor for “no particular reason”

Government has been ordered to pay 1.5 million pula as compensation to a student (name withheld) who suffered bodily damage following a vicious assault on him by police officers.


WeekendPost has gathered that the 20 year old who is a student at the University of Botswana was wrongfully and viciously assaulted by Tlokweng Police Officers at the charge office – and in full view of other on duty officers.


It is alluded that the minor and friends were arrested for allegedly consuming alcohol in a prohibited area but upon arrival at the police station the minor was violently assaulted without no justification.


According to court papers seen by this publication “on or about the 21st September 2013 at Tlokweng Police Station charge room, a member of Tlokweng Police Force, acting within the course and scope of their employment and the control of the Commissioner of Police, wrongfully and unlawfully assaulted the minor “for no particular reason.”


It is understood that at that time, the police officers were acting within the course and scope of their employment, and, as a result of the vicious, brutal and excessive assault the minor sustained injuries which required an emergency surgical operation.  


The assault, the papers posit was carried out excessively and viciously on the plaintiff in full view of other on duty officers present in the charge room and the plaintiff’s friends who had been brought to the charge room as well on account of the same offence.


According to the papers, the minor was awaiting to receive a fine or charge at the Police station where he was suddenly attacked with open hands (brutal punches and slaps) to his face and kicks all over his body and such assault was without provocation.


“The Minor was further thrown to the floor, where the officer struck the plaintiffs head repeatedly on the ground until the plaintiff was unconscious.”


The assault was carried out right in front of on looking duty officers who did not intervene to stop the officer and protect the minor from getting the beating of his life.


“In the premises, members of the Tlokweng Police Force had no good basis to assault the plaintiff in the manner which they did. No amount of justification can explain why such a brutal assault was meted against the plaintiff,” the court papers point out.


The minor sustained injuries leading to loss of memory, acute right extradural hermatoma, weakness on the right side of the body, swollen Lips, swollen head, celebral bleeding, left pupil unresponsive, numbness of the right leg, pain from the heap joint, itching of the operation scar, partial incapacity and loss of memory.


According to a medical report from Center of Neurology and Neurosurgery seen by this publication, the 20 year gentleman was seen for the first time on 17 October 2013. “There is history of assault and admission in PMH, where he was operated for right epidural bleed. At that time he had right hemiparesis-paralysed right limbs.”


“In January 2014 we did CT scan brain check-up which showed up posttraumatic changes with brain atrophy. The patient was counseled for his condition and he needs more time for recovering. Recently follow up does not show big progress. Still right hemiparesis persist,” a doctor highlighted in court papers.


Following the assault, it is understood that on or about 22nd September 2013, the plaintiff had to undergo an emergency brain surgery at Princess Marina Hospital.


Princess Marina Hospital also confirmed in their medical report that, the patient is known to them and “he was assaulted in September 2013 and sustained acute right extradural hematoma with right side weakness. He was admitted here on 22 September 2013, was discharged on 15 October 2013. An emergency neurosurgical operation was done on admission and he was afterwards admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) from 22 September 2013 to 24 September.”


Human rights organization Ditshwanelo also handed support to the client and wrote an intention to sue in terms of the State Proceedings (civil actions by or against government or public officers) to the Attorney General Athaliah Molokomme.  


“Notice is hereby given that our client intends to bring an action for damages against the Minister of Defense, Justice and Security for physical injuries sustained and inflicted at the hands of his officers,” stated Ditshwanelo.


Court documents also stress that: “the officers owed the plaintiff a legal duty to protect him whilst in their custody, which duty the government breached when they allowed the minor to be assaulted by another officer in the presence of other on duty officers.”


The complainant who by virtue of being a minor thereby falling under the class of persons under disability is assisted by his mother Bosaeng Kerepile.


The plaintiff is a male minor, 2nd year Bachelor of Business Administration student at the University of Botswana and the assault has since negatively affected his studies as “he has further ceased attending school to allow him to rehabilitate and fully recover from the injuries sustained. He has also undergone thorough physiotherapy assessment at Thuso Rehabilitation Centre.”


The papers also state that despite lawful demands to remedy the assault the government have willfully or disregarded ignored the minor’s demands.


Before the court order, issued by Justice Dambe for the government to compensate the minor with P1.5 million, the plaintiff had averred that he suffered damages in the amount of P3 440 000.


The said amount was arrived at after considering unlawful assault (pain and suffering) at P500 000, humiliation and loss of dignity at P250 000, Medical expenses P200 000, permanent disfigurement and partial disability P150 000 as well as loss of earnings and estimated future and/or or potential earnings at P 2 340 000.


It is not the first time government is successfully sued, and thereby draining the tax payers’ coffers millions of money, for wrongful and unlawful assault, detention and arrest.


The minor was represented by Gaborone based renowned attorney Joram Matomela of JJ Matomela Attorneys.

Continue Reading

News

Investing in Children of Kokotsha: Learn To Play, Kokotsha VDC and Tsabong District Council Launch ECD Playgroup

25th September 2023

KOKOTSHA – The Kokotsha community, home to some 90 children, is one that passionately believes in investing in the youth of today as future leaders of tomorrow. In support of this, and with a desire to ensure children in the village more effectively learn through play for truly brighter futures, Learn To Play is excited to launch its 10th Botswana playgroup in Kokotsha.

The playgroup was opened in partnership with the Kokotsha Village Development Committee (VDC) and the Tsabong District Council on the 11th of September 2023, in the presence of Kgosi Kudume; Chief Social & Community Development Officer, Boitumelo Pule; Deputy Council Chairman, Honourable Councillor Baitseweng; and Kokotsha Councillor Jane.

“The establishment of Kokotsha Play Group is a very appropriate and relevant cause by department of Social and Community Development in collaboration with Learn to Play, as we all know that Early Childhood Education opportunities are critical and key for children’s psychosocial development. The positive outcomes of this initiative will trickle down to improving the quality of life of not only the children enrolled, but Kokotsha as a whole,” said Tsabong District Council Deputy Council Chairman, Honourable Councillor Baitsiwe.

Tsabong District Council made the necessary renovations to an old playgroup structure on site, also supporting the playgroup with necessary resources so that the 40 children enrolled in will experience leading ECD methods and approaches, inclusive of mindful play, creativity, LEGO programmes, playful literacy, early brain development, and more. The playgroup will begin by serving 40 children in the community until the end of 2023 and increase to 80 from 2024.

“When we say, “it takes a village to raise a child”, Kokotsha is that village! From the most inspiring and supportive leadership at the Tsabong District Council – whose vision and priority towards early childhood development brings us here today, to the leadership within Kokotsha with the most committed civil servants, and our dedicated Mamapreneurs – we have truly learnt the meaning behind that phrase,” said Learn To Play Founder and CEO, Priyanka Handa-Ram. “Kokotsha stands as a model not just for our other community playgroups across the country, but for the entire African continent on how policies, programmes and communities need to devote time, effort and resources to nurturing our children. Working with the Tsabong District Council and the leadership in Kokotsha to be ready for opening, including renovating this incredible playgroup centre, has been so smooth and efficient – all testament to the Council’s commitment to bring play-based learning to Kokotsha, and indeed the district at large. Effective partnerships with local governments and community leadership are key to forging a path to universal access to high quality early childhood development in our beautiful Botswana.”

Three mamapreneurs identified by the Kokotsha community were trained in Gaborone for two weeks in April this year on ECD essentials, managing and facilitating daily playgroups, effective monitoring and evaluation, school readiness, digital literacy, child protection, first aid and more. These phenomenal women are now part of the 35 Mamapreneur-strong network of change-agents across Botswana within the Learn To Play ecosystem.

ECD plays a crucial role in a child’s overall development, setting the foundation for their cognitive, social, and emotional development.  Research has consistently shown that quality of early education has a long-lasting impact on a child’s academic performance, social skills, and overall wellbeing and that children who attend high-quality early childhood education programmes are more likely to perform better academically and have higher graduation rates. These programmes help children develop empathy, self-regulation, and positive relationships with peers and adults. These very impacts are being measurably reported across Learn To Play playgroups in Botswana, and the impact is clear for all to see.

Learn To Play now operates play-based learning playgroups in 6 districts across Botswana, and gaging and benefitting over 450 children in Pandamatenga, Bere, Kokotsha, Mabele, Nata, Bontleng, Gopong, Kavimba, Kacgae, and Dukwi, working to create a sustainable framework for development. Learn To Play is Inspired by Play and Informed by African communities, just like that of Kokotsha.

 

Continue Reading

News

Sub-Saharan Africa region urged to reorient health systems

25th September 2023

World Health Organization (WHO) last week invaded Botswana for the 73rd Regional Committee for Africa meeting. Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus made his way to Botswana, to understand the health landscape, systems and interventions put in place to promote and advance health, in a country that is looking to achieve Sustainable Development Goal three: Good Health and Well-being by 2030.

The meeting aimed at addressing and taking decisions on the pressing health challenges faced by African countries and developing strategies to strengthen health systems in all member states.

The conference discussed critical health challenges facing the African region. These challenges encompass a wide range of topics: infectious diseases, universal health coverage, health systems strengthening and emergency preparedness and response.

WHO boss, Dr Ghebreyesus said they are now working with member states to develop the 14th General Programme of Work for 2025 to 2028, and urged all member states of the African region to engage actively in the process.

“There are five priorities which are now becoming the basis of GPW14: to promote, provide, protect, power and perform for health. We should promote health and prevent disease by addressing its root cause, and this includes action to reduce tobacco use and harmful alcohol use, to make diets healthier by reducing salt and sugar intake, to increase physical activity and water, sanitation as well as hygiene.”

He further said climate crisis is a health crisis, adding that health systems are increasingly dealing with the consequences of climate change, in terms of communicable and non-communicable diseases, and the impacts of more frequent and more severe extreme weather events.

“Even as we work to decarbonize health systems, at least 15% of health facilities in Sub-Saharan Africa have no access to electricity at all, and many more have unreliable access. This means surgeries and births are done in the dark, vaccines cannot be stored safely, and that vital medical equipment cannot function.”

Providing health by radically reorienting health systems towards primary health care, as the foundation of universal health coverage, is said to be more important in Africa than any other region, it has emerged.

“Across the region, hundreds of millions of people lack access to essential health services, or are pushed into poverty by catastrophic out-of-pocket spending. Closing these gaps must be top of the to-do-list for every member state. Maternal and child health also remains a major challenge in the continent. Two-thirds of all maternal deaths occur in Africa, and the latest estimates indicate that the maternal mortality ratio in the region is more than seven times higher than the SDG target.”

Dr Ghebreyesus further encouraged member states to work with WHO on the “Big Catch Up,” to close gaps in immunization coverage, and to reduce the unacceptably high burden of maternal mortality, by expanding access to services for sexual and reproductive health.

“Member States must take action to protect health by strengthening defense against health emergencies. They should engage actively in this once in a lifetime opportunity and deliver both the pandemic accord and the IHR reforms by May 2024, as a generational commitment that t is grounded in equity and addresses the critical gaps in the global health architecture.”

WHO urged countries to take action to power health by harnessing the power of science, research and development, data and digital technologies. “I also urge Member States to engage with the new Global Initiative on Digital Health, which holds enormous potential to support countries on their journey towards universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

For her part, WHO Regional Director Dr Matshidiso Moeti says there has been progress on the health status of the African people and the delivery of health services, but challenges persist.

“Government health spending is low in most of our countries. And Africa is home to two in three poorest persons making out-of-pocket payments for health. The number of women dying from pregnancy related causes remains unacceptable and riven b inequities. The increasing burden of non-communicable diseases in Africa has not been accompanied by an increase in investment in the control of these diseases by governments and partners.”

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

News

GAMBLING AUTHORITY SHARES BEST PRACTICES WITH UK-BASED GAMBLING COMMISSION

25th September 2023

 The Gambling Authority continues to collaborate with international organisations and other jurisdictions to combat illegal gambling activities and share best practices for regulation of the industry.

Just recently (last week), the Gambling Authority Board Chairman, Mr. Marvin Thokodzani Torto, and Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Emolemo Peter Kesitilwe visited the United Kingdom (UK), Birmingham-based Gambling Commission on a benchmarking exercise aimed at maximising benefits of gambling to the economy while minimising harm to individuals and society.

The Gambling Commission is an executive, non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming law in Great Britain.

During the visit, the Gambling Commission shared with the Gambling Authority how they regulate the industry in Great Britain, how it’s changed over the years, and how their learnings can assist the Gambling Authority as they enter a new era of growth and expansion with the desire to implement industry best practice for their future work.

Furthermore, the two entities discussed various measures aimed at preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime, as well as ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and further protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The meeting also provided a timely opportunity to catch up on preparations for the upcoming International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) event being held in Gaborone, Botswana next month (October 16th – 19th, 2023).

“We’re looking forward to attending and meeting other gambling regulators from across the world to share best practice, discuss common challenges and tackle illegal gambling in ways that makes regulation work for all. Many thanks to Mr Marvin Thokodzani Torto (Chair) and Mr Peter Emolemo Kesitilwe (Acting CEO) for taking the time to visit us,” read a communique from Gambling Commission.

 

 

Continue Reading