AG hits back, accuses SA officials of hiding their unconstitutional acts
A case in which a Motswana man has been unlawfully and mysteriously extradited to Botswana by South African officials to face his murder charges, has stirred diplomatic tensions between the two countries, leaving behind a trail of blame game.
Last year, the South African Home Affairs department launched an investigation into circumstances that led to the deportation of Edwin Samotse to Botswana despite a decision by the top hierarchy not to deport him to Botswana. Samotse was charged with murder in Botswana and fled to South Africa where the South African Constitutional Court had ruled twice that foreign nationals cannot be extradited to their home countries if there is a danger that they'll face the death penalty.
WeekendPost has established that the brawl continues to this day and efforts to find common ground have not been easy as neither of the two countries is willing to accept the blame. Recently, South African officials wrote a letter to the Botswana government demanding a full explanation on the matter. They have been accusing the Botswana government of having a hand in the unlawful and mysterious deportation of Samotse.
The attorney General, Athaliah Molokomme told this publication that they have indeed received some correspondences from South Africa pertaining to the matter. “They have written us letters calling us to send him back and other issues which I cannot remember well. But what has to be understood is that we did what we had to do, arrest him when he set a foot here,” she said.
Molokomme argues that the South African officials know that they violated the law in sending Samotse to Botswana hence their illegitimate accusations.
Samotse had been in the custody of the South African authorities before the Botswana Government successfully sought his extradition to face murder charges.
"In the matter of Mohammed v President of South Africa and Minister of Home Affairs, both cases relating to Botswana nationals, the courts held that in the absence of such an assurance, the South African government and no official in the employ of government, may not lawfully extradite or deport individuals whose countries still impose the death penalty," the department said in a statement on Tuesday.
The North Gauteng High Court on 13 August 2014 issued a similar order in the Samotse matter.
However, officials from the Department of Home Affairs, it seems, knowingly or without prior knowledge of the Director-General and without any authority, secured the release of Samotse from the Polokwane Police Station and transported him to the Groblersbrug port of entry between South Africa and Botswana, where they handed him over to Botswana officials.
Molokomme argues that the South African officials are shifting the blame, “they know that they deported him illegally and fear the wrath of the law on their side. He was a fugitive and they also know that they have violated the international law hence their accusations and antics.
The Secretary of Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security, Augustine Makgonatsotlhe said that he was not in a position to say whether they will act on the demands of the South African government to hand Samotse back or not. “We cannot say for now that we will deliver him back, mind you he is a criminal and we want him just as much as the South African officials,” he said.
Meanwhile, Samotse has fled again after being arrested in Botswana and his whereabouts are not known despite the two countries’ tussle. He fled from Nyangabwe Referral Hospital where he had gone for a check up. Makgonatsotlhe confirmed to us that Samotse is still at large. Sources say Samotse might have gone back to South Africa but the South African officials have not said anything about that to the Botswana government, according to Makgonatsotlhe.
The South African department of Home Affairs which suspended suspected officials last year pending investigations could not be reached for comment as their spokesperson, Mayihlome Tshwete said he was in long a meeting.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.