Despite repeated calls from international organisations such as United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU), Botswana has this week passed capital punishment on two offenders amid positive sentiments from the citizenry.
The death penalty was passed on Wedu Mosalagae and Kutlo Setima earlier week at Gaborone Central prison.
The duo lost their appeal at the High Court of Appeal on the 5th August 2020. Mosalagae was committed to death by Francistown High Court on the 8th August 2019, for the murder of Barobi Rampape on the 24th November 2012 at Nkoshe Ward in Letlhakane while Setima was committed to death by the High Court of Botswana at Lobatse 24th May 2019 for the murder of Tsone Kosi of Kgaphamadi ward in Ghanzi.
Botswana’s constitution provides for the death penalty under section 4(1) which states that, “No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of an offence under the law in force in Botswana of which he has been convicted.” In the same breath, section 202 of the Botswana Penal Code, which enforces the death penalty, states that, “any person who of malice aforethought causes the death of another person by an unlawful copyright Government of Botswana act or omission is guilty of murder.”
The Penal Code specifies that a person who is sentenced to death will be hanged by the neck until dead. Still in the Penal Code, section 203 states that “subject to the provisions of subsection (2), any person convicted of murder shall be sentenced to death.
It continues that where a court in convicting a person of murder is of the opinion that there are extenuating circumstances, the court may impose any sentence other than death. (3) In deciding whether or not there are any extenuating circumstances the court shall take into consideration the standards of behaviour of an ordinary person of the class of the community to which the convicted person belongs.”
Earlier this week after the execution of Mosalagae and Setima, UN in Botswana urged the government of Botswana to stop the use of capital punishment and impose an immediate moratorium on executions with a view to its abolition.
According to a statement from UN, last year 123 states voted in favour of the General Assembly resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Human Rights Committee recommended that Botswana should move towards the abolition of the death penalty in accordance with article 6 of the Covenant.
During Botswana’s Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in 2018, recommendations were made urging Botswana to abolish the death penalty including taking active steps to ensure that public consultations on the abolition of the death penalty are held.
“The best deterrents for serious crimes lie in ensuring respect for the rule of law and due process; ensuring that there is no impunity, irrespective of who commits a crime and that those suspected of such crimes are promptly and properly investigated and prosecuted; and ensuring that the authorities engage closely with the communities affected by the crime,” reads a statement from UN
Meanwhile three Court of Appeal Judges; Justice Dambe, Justice Walia and Justice Makhwade have dismissed an appeal for Phemelo Botogeleng after he was sentenced to capital punishment by Francistown High Court after he was convicted on two counts of murder.
Botogeleng, on the 5th May 2011, murdered his girlfriend (Annah Simon) and (Atang Simon) his child. When delivering the ruling the three judges agreed that at the time of her demise, Atang was an innocent child of 2 years who had done no wrong. Atang was killed in the cruellest manner possible by her father, slashing the baby’s stomach exposing her intestines. These factors were rightly considered as aggravation.
The fact that Botogeleng killed Atang Simon immediately after killing Annah Simon cannot be perceived as conduct that lacks pre-mediation affecting the moral blameworthiness of Botogeleng.
This week WeekendPost, conducted interviews with random members of the society to hear their view on capital punishment, with overwhelming majority speaking in favour.
One man who asked to remain anonymous opined that; “if someone killed another person with deliberate intentions such person deserves to be hanged but if it wasn’t deliberate the state should be remorseful on that particular person as sometimes mistakes are bound to happen.”
“I strongly support capital punishment, because it is inhumane to kill another human being. If you murder that person, you tend to destroy so many circumstances. You will find out that the person who you have murdered might be a breadwinner for his/her family hence that leaves his or her family in poverty,” he shared with this publication.
A woman further said she strongly supports capital punishment, going further to explain that murderers tend to take the matter lightly knowing that in two weeks’ time they will be released on bail.
“No one has the right to kill another person regardless of the circumstances, if you have some issues with someone seek professional help.”
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.