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Law Society advises Government to ditch “racist and white supremacist” AfriForum

Law Society of Botswana Chairperson: Diba Diba

The Law Society of Botswana has advised Government of Botswana to reconsider its decision to engage a “racist and white supremacist” AfriForum to assist in processing mutual legal assistance request made to the South African government.

“Apartheid received universal condemnation as a crime against humanity. It represented the ultimate expression of racial inequality; oppression of the black majority by a white minority; and symbolized contempt and disrespect of black people.

The legacy of apartheid lives on despite the liberation of South Africa and the numerous interventions taken to redress the inequalities of the past. At a time when there is a global wave to uproot racial inequality the world over, sparked by the recent killing of George Floyd, the Law Society of Botswana is alarmed that the Government of Botswana has elected to engage the services of Afriforum, an organization in South Africa whose principal preoccupation is to fight for the preservation of the legacy of apartheid and set itself up as opposing force to reforms that seek to redress racial inequalities of the past.

The purpose of the engagement, as we understand it, is to assist in processing mutual legal assistance requests made to the South African Government.

The Government’s decision is incomprehensible and perplexing given that there is extensive choice of legal representation in South Africa, in view of its much larger population and more developed legal services industry.

The Government of Botswana has in fact in the past engaged some of the most revered legal practitioners in South Africa, and whose values and commitment to transformation and redressing racial inequalities of the past are well documented, such as Wim Trengrove SC; Anton Myburgh SC; Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC, just to name a few.

The Government’s choice of representation is inconsistent with the recent display of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement shown by cabinet when it observed a moment of silence for George Floyd. The Law Society of Botswana affirms its support for racial equality everywhere in the world. Black lives matter not just in the United States of America, but everywhere around the world including South Africa.

If we recognise that black lives truly matter, we cannot as a country fund organisations that unapologetically and unflinchingly oppose the upliftment of black people previously disadvantaged by apartheid.

In electing to make use of the services of an organization that is opposed to racial equality and advocates for the perpetuation of the legacy of apartheid, the Government of Botswana has validated the stereotypes of rightwing organisations like Afriforum that enlightened Africans readily accept their inferiority and yearn for a return to oppressive white minority rule.

In choosing Afriforum, ahead of many other Afrikaner legal practitioners, whose commitment to the values of racial equality are indisputable, the Government is conveying to its citizens that it is ready to harbour and provide a paradise for racists and supremacists.

The Government’s ill-advised choice validates the small pockets of racists that we have in our country, particularly within the tourism sector, who have little regard for black people.

Whilst we concede that Government does not break any laws in engaging white supremacist organisations, we expect Government to be exemplary and promote basic moral standards by refraining from funding organisations that advocate for racial inequality, segregation and continuity oppression of black people.

Government’s decisions should at all times reflect good morality, integrity and judgment. Legality cannot be the only measure of whether Government decisions are sound.

We therefore call upon Government to urgently reconsider its engagement of Afriforum and reaffirm its commitment to ensuring racial equality and harmony in Botswana.”

Issued by Council of the Law Society of Botswana

Dated 26th June 2020

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GPH takes Gov’t head-on over faulty Covid-19 results

3rd July 2020
Gaborone Private Hospital

Gaborone Private Hospital (GPH) has come out with guns blazing after they were accused of releasing false positive Covid-19 results which were later declared negative by the government task team force.

GPH insists that it is beyond doubt that their 8 positive Covid-19 results were indeed accurate.

This publication is in possession of a report that indicates how the government might have faulted with their results.  They narrate what might have caused the various results between laboratories.

The report indicates that one or more negative results do not rule out the possibility of Covid-19 virus infection. Furthermore a number of factors could lead to a negative result in an infected individual.

GPH is immovable in their results and believe that poor quality of the specimen containing little patient material (as a control, consider determining whether there is adequate human DNA in the sample by including a human target in the PCR testing) could be a factor in diagnosing whether the case reads positive or negative.

The hospital, in the report shared internally, also point out that another factor may be as a result of the mishandling and incorrect shipping of the specimen. The report also establishes that technical reasons inherent may be one of the reasons why results may vary.

This publication has also established that same test kits were used but with different time collection of the samples. GPH affirms that this might have also impacted why the results varied.

“We are happy with our quality and believe that reporting positives with one gene detected the right decision. With the other labs only calling positives when two genes are detected, they are possibly under reporting and releasing negative results that should be called positive based on the less stringent algorithm.”

Unconfirmed reports have indicated that the government has launched a thorough investigation into the matter as GPH faces possible retribution over the matter.

“The government knows they blundered and now want to silence GPH by indicating that they are the ones who faulted. There is a lot of mix up with how the government tests and confirms results as negative.” Botswana currently stands at 46 new cases with only 17 active cases with 28 recoveries and 1 death.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has also gone into his fourth quarantine since Corona was discovered in Botswana. According to a press release released on Thursday, there is a new positive Covid-19 result on one of the President’s officials.

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An enquiry into BPC tenders uncovers rotting corruption

29th June 2020
BPC

A confidential report from enquiry on the award of tenders at Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has recommended that key employees within the organisation be subjected to a Declaration of Assets exercise in a bid to find if they have been part of improper award of tenders cabal.

The confidential report seen by this publication was commissioned to give an overview on how procurement of equipment (imports) is conducted and awarded at BPC. The report titled “Enquiry into BPC tenders” which was released last month (5 May 2020), recommends that the organisation should be clear from the start whether they use selective tender or open tender process and which one will work for them.

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Court reinstates fired DIS agent

29th June 2020
Court reinstates fired DIS-agent-High-Court-Judge Godfrey Radijeng

High Court Judge Godfrey Radijeng has this week reinstated a Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agent who was fired by the spy agency in August 2017. Justice Radijeng further ordered in the judgement that he be paid arrears from the time he was fired and for the cost of the litigation.

The reinstated DIS agent, Walter Matsoga, was in 2014 involved in a car accident and sustained injuries in the course of his clandestine job. More than a year later, on the 15th June 2015, the spy operative was subjected to a medical assessment at the instance of the DIS to determine his fitness to continue being in employment.  The assessment was carried out and he continued to be under the employ of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security.

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