Republic of Botswana (7/8/05)

TAUTONA TIMES no 27 of 2005
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President

"Judicial principles, like those of governance,
cannot be developed in a vacuum, they must of
necessity take due cognizance of not only
international best practice, but also and above
all the domestic situation. The domestic
situation includes culture, level of development,
ethnic and religious pluralism and gender. These
should be qualified or modified and even, on
occasion, over-ridden by considerations of the
common good." - President Mogae [D]


A. TT 101 Scoops!
B. Press Schedule
C. The week that was
D. Statement by H.E. the President Officially
opening the Mahalapye Magistrates Court (6/8/05)
E. Press Office Forwarding:

1) Forwarded: Statement from the Botswana Police
Service to The Voice newspaper (27/7/05).
2) Messages from President Festus Mogae to King
Abdullah Saudi Arabia and the Indian President
Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on recent events (4/8/05).
3) Today's meeting between H.E. the President and
a delegation from the SADC Parliamentary (4/8/05).
4) Note on the use of the Death Penalty (4/8/05).
5) Forwarded: Letter to the Editor of the Sunday
Standard by the Deputy Attorney General (5/8/05)
6) Additional notes and forwarding

A. TT 101 Scoops!

Welcome to the 101st issue of the Tautona Times,
which is also the 27th edition for 2005.
Originally conceived as a means to communicate
scheduling and other matters with domestic and
interested international media, along with senior
Government and diplomatic stakeholders, the TT's
circulation has since widened to include a global
network of individuals and organisations with an
interest in the public activities of this Office.

The Circular is freely available to any and all
who wish to receive it and its readership has
steadily expanded. In this respect it should be
noted that we have no wish to spam. Requests for
cancellation will be promptly acted on, as will
any complaints about such things as double

The circular has been, and for the time being
shall continue to be, distributed in plain text
format [never open any supposed attachments as
there should be none!]. This is to facilitate
downloading of what is often a long document to
its varied readership, while minimising the risk
of contamination.

Decoded news?

While it was not part of the TT's original
mission, others have noted that this Circular
provides information in the form of Presidential
pronouncements, commentary, and otherwise
unpublished press statements that do not appear
elsewhere. A case in point was highlighted in the
lead section of last week's Circular where it was
noted that both the Mmegi and The Voice
newspaper's published a Press Release from the
so-called First People of the Kalahari (FPK)
organisation, in direct response to a statement
that had appeared in the previous week's edition
of this Circular (TT no. 25 of 22/7/05) entitled
"Basarwa (San) reportedly deny torture

Since then another local private newspaper, the
Gazette, has joined the pack, publishing the FPK
response, while also finding it unnecessary to
expose its readers to the original statement.

Across the road, The Voice this week published a
further commentary on Government's findings on
the matter, without ever having bothered to
expose its readers to the actual findings. We
once more see this as being in contempt of
Sections 2 (iii) and 4 of the Botswana Media Code
of Ethics.

So far we are unaware of any example of a local
media institution, public or private, having ever
published the original statement, leaving non-TT
readers in ignorance as to what the matter is

Sadly, The Voice is not alone in its lack of
commitment to the General Standards set out in
the Botswana Media Code of Ethics, such as
taking reasonable steps to ensure the
dissemination of balanced, as well as accurate,

Neither the Code of Ethics nor the Press Council
of Botswana that came into operation last year to
uphold it was imposed by this Government. They
are rather outcomes of the domestic media
fraternity's belated honouring of its own 1996
pledge, in the context of Vision 2016, that the
freedom of the media would "be balanced by sound
media ethics and a code of conduct that is
enforced by the profession itself."

Whose news?

As readers of last week's Circular are aware the
President had a busy three day Official Visit to
the Federative Republic of Brazil. If measured
simply in terms of the media coverage it
generated, the results of the trip were mixed.

Take, for example, reporting on President Mogae's
meeting with his Brazilian counterpart, President
Lula. This morning event, which involved formal
statements, the signing of a Technical
Cooperation Agreement and the release of a Joint
Communiqué (all distributed locally), as well as
a colourful welcoming ceremony set against the
austere modernist architecture of Brasilia, was
certainly judged newsworthy by the Brazilian
media. It was featured prominently on local
television and in the following day's newspapers.
This author was, therefore, not overly surprised
to discover, while browsing with a Portuguese
language search engine, some 162 articles on the
Lula-Mogae talks alone, which had appeared in the
Brazilian press.

By contrast here in Botswana the Brazil visit was
all but ignored. This is confirmed in our July
media survey [F], which showed only two local
newspaper articles on the visit, both appearing
in the Daily News [the survey, however, excluded
Botsalo Ntuane's "Odyssey across three
continent's", which was published in this
Friday's edition of Mmegi].

Given that Brazil "the Colossus of the South" is
one of the world's top ten industrial and
military powers, with a population of over 186
million living in its vast territory, as compared
to Botswana's estimated 1.8 million, some might
find it odd that Mogae meeting Lula was bigger
news in Brasilia than Gaborone!

What's news?

When it come to local media it is sometimes hard
to predict what might be considered as being
newsworthy. The week before last our National
Assembly overwhelmingly passed the Constitutional
Amendment Bill, whose stated purpose has been to
render the text of the Constitution tribally and
gender neutral, while reforming the "Houses of
Chiefs" (Ntlo ya Dikgosi) and removing the
Attorney General from sitting in Parliament [E 5].

The Bill is the product of years of debate, which
has been the subject of extensive media coverage
and comment. Its provisions with respect to the
House of Chiefs, in particular, can be described
as a compromise between competing, often
passionately pursued, perspectives.
Notwithstanding such controversy, in the end only
four members of Parliament voted against the Bill
in its final reading. Curiously in the days
since, it would appear that no media institution,
public or private, in the country found the
Bill's actual passage newsworthy, leaving it to
the TT to belatedly scoop where others scratch.

- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (7/8/05)

Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975154 & Facsimile: (267) 3902795.
Cell: (267) 71318598. E-mail:

B. Press Schedule:

As always the events listed below, which
represent only those parts of H.E. the
President's schedule open in whole or part to
press coverage, are subject to change. When
possible and necessary, updates will be
forwarded. Members of the Press are also
encouraged to contact the sponsors of the various
events listed below for further programme details
and possible updates.

Saturday (13/8/05): In the morning, from 9:00 AM,
H.E. the President will take part in the annual
Police Day Celebrations at the National Stadium.

Monday (15/8/05): In the afternoon, at 15:00,
H.E. the President will give an exclusive
interview to Peolwane magazine. At 16:00 he will
give a further exclusive interview to Reuters
News Agency.

Tuesday (16/8/05): In the morning, at 10:00
hours, H.E. the President will give an exclusive
interview to the Voice of America. It is
anticipated that much his day will otherwise be
taken up in welcoming Heads of State and other
Special Guests to Gaborone for the 2005 SADC
Summit and Silver Jubilee Celebrations.

Wednesday (17/8/05) SADC Summit Day 1:

In the morning, from 8:00, H.E. the President
will give the Welcome Address at the Official
Opening of the 2005 SADC Summit of Heads of State
and Government, to be held at the GICC. It is
anticipated that the ceremony will further
include Statements and Addresses from, among
others, the Chairperson of the African Union
Commission, the outgoing Chairperson of SADC, the
SADC Executive Secretary and the recently
inaugurated Presidents of Mozambique and Namibia.

The Ceremony will also feature the announcement
of the winners of the annual SADC Secondary
Schools Essay Competition and the SADC Media
Awards. It should conclude with the Acceptance
Statement by the new Chairperson of SADC,
President Mogae.

Thereafter there is to be a group photo of the
SADC Heads of State and Government present along
with their special guests.
This will be followed H.E. President Mogae laying
the foundation stone for the new SADC
Headquarters in Gaborone.

>From 12:30 H.E. the President will host an
>Official Luncheon for the Heads of State and
>Government. This will be followed by the Summit
>going into closed session.

In the evening, from 18:00, H.E. the President
will host and address an Official Dinner, which
will commemorate SADC's 25th Anniversary.

Thursday (17-18/8/05) SADC Summit Day 2:

In the late morning, from 11:15, the Summit will
hold its Official Closing Ceremony, which will
include statements by H.E. the President and
others. It is further anticipated that a Summit
Communiqué will be read.

In the afternoon, following a luncheon for the
Heads of State and Government, H.E. the President
will hold a Press Conference.

Friday (19/8/05): At noon H.E. the President will
give an exclusive interview to SABC.

Friday (26/8/05): In the morning, from 9:00, H.E.
the President will Chair a meeting of the
National AIDS Council. Members of the press are
welcome for the opening photo opportunity and any
possible welcome remarks before the Council goes
into closed session.

Wednesday (31/8/05): In the morning H.E. the
President will Officially Open the 2005 World
Information Technology Forum (WITFOR), which is
being held in Gaborone at the GICC.

C. OP Press Highlights 23-29/7/05:

Monday (1/8/05): In the afternoon the President's
schedule included a take leave by the
Consul-General Designate to Cape Town, Mrs.
Dorcas Kgosietsile.

Tuesday (2/8/05): In the morning, H.E. the
President received a presentation on the
"Gemmere" brand from the management of Blitz
Services (Pty.) Ltd., which he lauded as an
example of young entrepreneurship and
self-reliance. Thereafter he received a Courtesy
Call from the UNFP Goodwill Ambassador and former
Miss Universe Ms. Mpule Kwelagobe.

Wednesday (3/8/05): In the afternoon H.E. the
President's schedule included take leave calls by
the Ambassador designate to Zimbabwe, Mr.
Pelokgale Seloma and the Ambassador designate to
Belgium and the European Union, Mrs. Tshenolo

Thursday (4/8/05): In the morning H.E. the
President received a farewell call from H.E. Mr.
Cecil Holmes, the High Commissioner of the
Republic of Zambia. This was followed by a
meeting with a visiting delegation from the SADC
Parliamentary Forum [E 3]. During the morning, he
also forwarded messages to H.M. King Abdullah of
Saudi Arabia and H.E. President Kalam of India [E

Saturday (6/8/05): In the morning H.E. the
President Officially Opened the new Mahalapye
Magistrates' Court [D].


Director of Ceremonies
Your Lordship the Chief Justice Mr. Julian Mukwesu Nganunu and Mrs. Nganunu
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International
Co-operation, and Member of Parliament for
Mahalapye West, Honourable Lt. General Mompati S.
Merafhe and Mrs. Merafhe
Honourable Cabinet Ministers here present
The Member of Parliament for Mahalapye East, Honourable Botlhogile Tshireletso
Honourable Members of Parliament here present
Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane le Magosi otlhe a a hano
District Commissioner for the Central District, Mr. Louis Malikongwa
Mong wa motse ono wa Mhalatswe, Kgosi Tsoebebe Segotsi
The Attorney General, Honourable Ian S. Kirby
Honourable Judges of the High Court
The Commander of Botswana Defence Force, Lt. General Louis M. Fisher
The Commissioner of Botswana Police Service, Mr. Edwin Batshu
Your Worships the Magistrates
Chairman of the Central District Council, Mr.
Lesego Raditanka and other Councillors here
Chairman of Ngwato Land Board, Mr. Dipholo Dipholo
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

1. I am proud to be in Mahalapye this
morning. It is a privilege for me and those of
my generation who are here today to witness and
celebrate the official opening of this
magnificent court building. We can truly bear
witness to the efforts which we as a nation are
making to build not only the institutions of a
free and democratic society but also the
infrastructure necessary to enable such
institutions to operate effectively.

2. I am proud that we are making some
measure of progress in translating into concrete
reality, our political commitment and belief in
building a society founded on law and justice.
The Mahalapye Magistrates' Court is the eighth of
its kind after the successful completion of the
Gaborone, Maun, Molepolole, Mochudi, Palapye,
Selibe Phikwe and Tshabong Magistrate Courts.
And we do not intend to end here!

3. We can all be proud to say we are
determined to ensure that justice should not only
be done but must also be seen to be done. The
courts are being taken to the people and those
who have eyes to see, can see and those with ears
to hear, can hear.

4. It is appropriate that Mahalapye, one of
the largest villages in this country, is
receiving a court of this size and beauty. The
development of courts in villages and peri-urban
areas is in line with the Department of
Administration of Justice's resolve of taking
justice to the people and promoting access to
justice. I commend the Chief Justice for his
sterling efforts in responding to the National
Vision 2016, which identified the imbalance in
the concentration of courts in urban areas and
challenged the judiciary to extend the facilities
to rural areas.

5. Prior to the construction of this
building, the court had a nomadic type of life as
it moved from place to place in search of
suitable accommodation. It also operated from
residential houses. I must, however, pause here
to commend the people of Mahalapye for the
support they have given to their courts by
allowing them to use their homes and other

6. Through the programme of access to
justice, court services are taken closer to the
people regardless of where they are in the
country. This means that court services must
follow them so that there can be less temptation
to resort to taking the law into ones own hands
in the resolution of disputes, but instead
develop a culture of respect for the law and
justice system. We must also view development of
structures such as this one constructed at a cost
of about P46 million as an investment, whose
profits must benefit us all today and in future.
It is a matter of common knowledge that this
court previously operated from cramped premises.
It is a source of great pleasure for me that the
court now has good and spacious offices in which
officers can work in more relaxed and motivating

7. One development worth mentioning is the
inclusion of witness's hostels in the plans of
the court. Witnesses as we all know play a vital
role in the outcome of cases that come before the
courts. It is therefore fitting that they must be
provided with facilities that ensure their
general comfort when they are required to give
evidence. With this type of building we want to
see justice being dispensed in a quicker and
smarter way to the delight and satisfaction of
those who approach the courts seeking justice.

8. Bagaetsho, you will recall, that the
history of Botswana's legal system goes as far
back as the colonial period, when the courts were
administered by the office of Her Majesty's High
Commissioner, resident in Pretoria. There were no
courthouses then except for the office of the
District Commissioner, which doubled as his
office and courthouse. This colonial officer
together with his lieutenants dispensed justice
along side their administrative work. You will
realize that judicial powers and administrative
powers were in the shoulders of the same person
even at a time when experts in the law had
already said that it was wrong.

9. Today, it is unthinkable for this to
happen. Judicial and administrative powers cannot
be exercised by the same person as the risk of
abuse of those powers cannot be ruled out. Baron
Montesquieu, the French Philosopher, advocated
that in order to curb abuse of power and
arbitrariness, the powers of government should
reside in different bodies. It is now the
practice in most democracies that Executive,
Legislative and Judicial powers must be exercised
by entities that are clearly identifiable, one
working as a check against the other.

10. This separation of powers gives each arm
of government independence from the other arms of
the State. What this means with regard to the
judiciary, is that it must be left free to
perform its functions without any interference
from anybody. After 39 years of independence, we
are able to pride ourselves with our own solid
structures built with the sole purpose of taking
justice to the people.

11. The development of the courts must be
seen against this background and in the context
of the development of the entire country. We made
good progress but a lot still remains to be done.
We have no reason to despair as the successes of
today give us hope that with more hard work the
future can and will be brighter.

12. However, no branch of the government is
exempt from resources constraints, which must be
mobilized by the Executive Branch through the
levying of taxes, direct and indirect and fees.
Judicial principles, like those of governance,
cannot be developed in a vacuum, they must of
necessity take due cognizance of not only
international best practice, but also and above
all the domestic situation.

13. The domestic situation includes culture,
level of development, ethnic and religious
pluralism and gender. These should be qualified
or modified and even, on occasion, over-ridden by
considerations of the common good. The judiciary
must be outraged by certain developments and the
severity or otherwise of their judgments must
reflect present dangers to the society.

14. For instance, while the courts must
uphold the principles of bail, they must take
notice of developments whereby offenders,
especially those accused of fraud in conspiracy
with others, increasingly seek to intimidate
witnesses or bribe them and seek and destroy
documentary evidence, including that in the
possession of the courts themselves. Habitual
offenders must be punished more severely.

15. Our male dominated courts must not become
apologists for murderers of young ladies.
Otherwise our justice is not worth having if it
cannot protect the life and civil rights of young
women. The concept of passion killing is alien
to our history and our culture. Its introduction
into our society by murderous miscreants and
their journalistic sympathizers must not be

16. It is our intention, within the limited
resources at our disposal, to continue to
building a judicial system, which can be
responsive to the demands of a democratic order
and deliver justice to all people in a timeous
and fair manner. This is what you the people of
Mahalapye and the people of Botswana all want,
that is, to see the wheels of justice turning

17. Some of you may remember that Mahalapye
is one of the oldest centres in which a
magistrate's court was established. This is
probably because Mahalapye had a big railway
station, with bright and beautiful lights which
attracted a lot of people! One would have
preferred that a high concentration of people in
any area would be a source of safety and security
rather than a breeding ground for crime. Be that
as it may, the rapid growth of Mahalapye and the
crime statistics warranted the establishment of a
court in the area. The village was until the
early 70s served by the District Commissioner
sitting in Serowe where he had his offices. In
1970 the first Magistrate was posted here.

18. What is worth noting is that the
Magistrate was a lady, one Ms Shoniwa. The
Administration of Justice has, therefore,
pioneered in the welcome silent revolution of
gender equality. Ms Shoniwa served in this
village until 1975. Since then the station has
witnessed a steady growth in response to the
workload. Today there are three (3) permanent
magistrates in charge of this station and the
whole area.

19. Bagaetsho, the establishment of a court
in this central place has brought about great
relief to the people of Mahalapye and the
surrounding villages. The distance between the
court and the court users has been greatly
reduced. Justice can now be dispensed quicker
and cheaper. Cases with perishable and mobile
exhibits can receive attention quicker to prevent
the disappearance of the exhibits. People can
witness cases being tried and justice meted out
without delay. They are thus witnesses to
justice. This is a positive development not only
in the history of Mahalapye but Botswana as a

20. This is good; it is very good because the
primary purpose of putting up court structures in
deserving places is to promote access to justice.
The good that comes out of access to justice is
when people are able to use the Court and its
facilities to settle their disputes, to invoke
their protection when they perceive a threat to
their Constitutional rights.

21. Our Constitution guarantees rights, which
cannot easily be taken away from the people. In a
Democratic State such as Botswana, citizens and
non-citizens must enjoy their rights. They must
be able to run to the Courts to seek refuge when
they perceive a threat to those rights. That is
good for the country!

22. I declare with conviction and
equanimity, that in this country the rule of law
reigns supreme. Even those who do not believe
that our Constitution provides for these rights
are still free to run to the highest court in the
land!! I think that is good. All are equal
before the eyes of the law. Every man or woman,
whatever his/her standing in life, is subject to
the law of the land and to the jurisdiction of
the courts.

23. My Government abides by, respects and
supports the rule of law. Decisions of courts
whether they are for or against the Government
must be respected and implemented even by
Government. The Courts are free! They exercise
their powers in a free, safe and protected

24. Bagaetsho, let me conclude by stating
that Government is aware of the resource
constraints facing the Judiciary. Your Lordship
the Chief Justice, you are not alone here. All
Government Departments have suffered the same
consequences and as a result they have had to
scale down their plans. However, Government is
committed to supporting the judiciary so that it
can deliver its services to the Nation in a more
efficient manner. A working judiciary oils the
wheels of democracy.

25. On that note distinguished ladies and
gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to declare
this magnificent Mahalapye Magistrates' Court,
upon Mhalatswe River, officially open! P U L A!

E. OP Press Office Forwarding:

E 1) 2/8/05: Forwarded 27/7/05 Statement from the
Botswana Police Service to The Voice newspaper:

With reference to the Section "A" commentary that
appeared in this past week's Tautona Times (OP
Press Circular no. 26 of 2005 30/7/05),
reproduced below is the 27/7/05 statement that
was originally issued by the Public Relations
Office of the Botswana Police Service, which this
Office received this morning. We again note with
dismay that the statement was cited, but not
printed, in the 29/7/05 edition of the Voice in
clear violation of Section 4 of the Media Code of


27th July 2005 - Response to the Voice Newspaper story

The Botswana Police Service would like to respond
to a lead story which was published in the Voice
Newspaper of 22nd July 2005 under the headline
Missing school girl, 15, disappear after BDF
solders mistakenly pick her up in hunt for
'illegal' and commentary on page 6 "Missing girl
a concern".

The newspaper alleges on its introduction that "a
distraught mother is pleading with police to find
her daughter, last seen in the back of a BDF Land
Rover after being picked up as an illegal
immigrant. The 15 year old girl who was last
seen on her way to school has been missing for a

On page two the paper further alleges that
"Nkadzi Mobita was picked up last Wednesday
during a clean-up campaign of illegal immigrants
conducted by Police and BDF. To date she has not
returned to their Phase 6 home in Francistown."

The commentary on page six states that "the case
of the 15 year old school girl who apparently
went missing after being picked up by the Police
and BDF officers is shocking." The commentary
further stated that "the Police and BDF must be
held responsible for their actions and if God
forbid, any harm should come to the young star,
they will be held to blame."

The editor even said a full enquiry at the
highest level "must be carried out as a matter of
urgency to establish correct procedures during
such operations and to ensure that an incident
like this never happens again."

The Botswana Police Services wishes to state that
the whole story as alleged by the Newspaper is
completely devoid of the truth.

The truth of the matter is that Nkadzi Mobita was
never at any time arrested by security forces
during the recent clean-up operations as alleged,
nor was she reported as a missing person to the
police. Following the publication of the story by
the Voice Newspaper the girl was found in
Francistown where she was staying with a friend
who turned out to be an illegal immigrant. The
girl is alleged to have been absent from school
and not attending classes since May this year.

Therefore the allegation that she was arrested
while going to school can not be true. From the
above statements it is quite apparent that the
Editor of THE VOICE newspaper did not verify the
facts and was just more than happy to publicise
untruths that have the potential to damage the
good reputation of both the Botswana Police
Service and the Botswana Defence Force.

As the Botswana Police Service we remain
committed to providing a professional law
enforcement service, for a safe and secure
nation. This we will do in partnership with the
community as outlined in our vision. We can only
urge those who have read the fabricated story to
ignore it and live with the full knowledge that
the Botswana Police Service will always strive to
do its best in the delivery of service, even in
the face of adversity.

Public Relations Officer

E 2) 4/8/05: Messages by His Excellency President
Festus Mogae to His Majesty King Abdullah bin
Abdul al-Aziz Al-Saud of the Kingdom of Saudi
Arabia and His Excellency the President of the
Republic of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on
recent events.

E 2 (a) Message by His Excellency President
Festus Mogae to His Majesty King Abdullah bin
Abdul al-Aziz Al-Saud on his ascendance to the
throne of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

I have the honour to present my compliments and
to wish Your Majesty continued happiness and good
health as well as peace and prosperity for the
friendly people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

On your ascendance to the throne as King of Saudi
Arabia, I am delighted to salute you and to
extend our congratulations and good wishes. The
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of
Botswana have excellent relations based on mutual
friendship and shared vision of a more peaceful,
equitable and just world order. I reaffirm
Botswana's commitment to work with you in further
enhancing the excellent bilateral relations that
exist between our countries.

Please accept, Your Majesty, the renewed
assurances of my highest consideration and
esteem. (Signed Festus G. Mogae)

E 2(b) Message by His Excellency President Festus
Mogae to His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdul
al-Aziz Al-Saud on the news of the death of his
predecessor King Fahd bin Abdul al-Aziz al-Saud

It was with profound sorrow and sadness that I
learnt of the passing away of King Fahd bin Abdul
al-Aziz al-Saud. He will be fondly remembered
for his wisdom and leadership qualities not only
during times of peace but also during the most
turbulent times. His contribution towards
finding peaceful resolutions to problems in the
Middle East and the Arab world will be forever
cherished. His demise is therefore not only a
loss to the Saudi nation but to humankind as a
whole. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

I convey our heartfelt condolences to members of
the Royal Family, the Government and People of
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Please accept, Your Majesty, the renewed
assurances of my highest consideration and
esteem. (Signed Festus G. Mogae)

E 2(c) Message by His Excellency President Festus
Mogae to His Excellency the President of the
Republic of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the
recent flooding in Maharashtra state:

It is with profound sadness that I learnt of the
death of more than a thousand people in the
Maharashtra region as a result of the monsoon

On behalf of the Government and people of the
Republic of Botswana, and indeed on my own
behalf, I wish to convey to you and through you,
to the Government and people of the Republic of
India our deepest and heartfelt condolences, in
particular to the bereaved families. (Signed
Festus G. Mogae)

E 3) 4/8/05: Today's meeting between H.E. the
President and a delegation from the SADC

With reference to the previous message on the
above please note that, contrary to earlier
reports, Hon. Speaker of the Parliament of
Zimbabwe was not present at today's meeting. The
Parliamentary forum delegation thus consisted of:

1. Hon. Speaker Amusa Mwanamwambwa, Chairman of
the SADC Parliamentary Forum and Speaker of the
Parliament of the Republic of Zambia.
2. Mr. Dan Mandalo, Aide to the Speaker of the Parliament of Zambia.
3. Dr. Kasuka Mutukwa, Secretary General of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
4. Mr. Audrin Mathe, assistant to the Secretary General.

The visiting delegation was further accompanied by:

6. Hon. Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr.
Patrick Balopi, Chairman of the Botswana Beach of
the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
7. Hon. Duke Lefhoko, MP, Vice-Chairman of the SADC Parliamentary Forum.
8. Hon. B. Tshireletso, MP. - Executive Committee Botswana Branch.
9. Hon. O.M. Gaborone, Executive Committee Botswana Branch.
10. Hon. M. Mbaakanyi, MP and Assistant Minister
of Education, Executive Committee Botswana Branch.
11. Mr. A. Matlhaku, Clerk of the National
Assembly and Secretary to the Executive Committee
Botswana Branch.

H.E. the President was joined at the meeting by
his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Eric Molale, his
Special Advisor, Mr. Sydney Pilane, and other
senior officials.

The talks lasted just under one hour during which
time H.E. the President received a document for
further consideration, which proposes a framework
for the transformation of the SADC Parliamentary
Forum into a regional Parliament.

E 4) 4/8/05: Note on the continued use of the
death penalty - the following report on the
world's largest multi-party democracy was posted
today on the BBC World website:

'India's Supreme Court has upheld the death
penalty handed down to a man convicted of aiding
an attack on the country's parliament in
2001..."(Story available at:

Further Background Note on the status of Death
Penalty in Botswana and around the world:

The Republic of Botswana continues to uphold the
use of the death penalty in cases of premeditated
murder where there are no extenuating
circumstances. All such cases are tried by the
High Court and have automatic access to the Court
of Appeal, as well as the provision of legal

In accordance with the Constitution, all death
sentences in Botswana must also be reviewed by
H.E. the President, assisted by the Advisory
Committee of the Prerogative of Mercy, whose
membership and procedures are also defined by the
Constitution. In this respect it should be noted,
however, that neither the Advisory Committee nor
the Office of the President were established to
act as a superior court to the Court of Appeal,
whose judicial supremacy is further affirmed in
the Constitution.

There is currently no international consensus
about the use of the death penalty either in
Africa or the world. While the European Union has
taken a strong stand against its use, a large
majority of the world's population live in
countries where the death penalty has been

According to a recent report by Amnesty
International, an international NGO that actively
campaigns against the death penalty, 91 countries
in the world, including at least 35 in Africa,
retain and use the death penalty, while another
23 countries retain the death penalty, but have
not used it in over ten years. An additional 14
countries are said have reserved the death
penalty for only "exceptional crimes such as
certain offences committed during time of war."

Amnesty International further reports that 67
countries and territories in the world have
abolished the death penalty.

Countries reported by Amnesty International as
practicing the death penalty include all of the
world's ten most populous nations (listed below)
with the exception of Brazil, which confines its
use to time of war. They are:

1 China (1,306,313,812)
2 India (1,080,264,388)
3 United States (296,202,709)
4 Indonesia (241,973,879)
5 Brazil (186,112,794) - death penalty in time of war only
6 Pakistan (162,419,946)
7 Bangladesh (144,319,628)
8 Russia (143,420,309)
9 Nigeria (128,771,988)
10 Japan (127,417,244)

E 5) Forwarded: Letter to the Editor of the
Sunday Standard by the Deputy Attorney General

The following letter to the editor by the Deputy
Attorney General, Mr. Abram Keetshabe was
published in 7/8/05 edition of the Sunday
Standard Newspaper:

The Sunday Standard July 31- August 6, 2005
published an opinion under the title "May the
Judiciary and Attorney General's Office remain
separate and distinct!"

The author is indicated as one Kealeboga N.
Bogosi, a law lecturer at the University of

The author shares with the reader personal
opinions on the subject. In a democracy such as
ours, that is perfectly admissible. We are,
however, concerned at some statements that are
misleading not only to members of the public but
also to law students. We therefore wish to set
the record straight, and indicate the correct
position of law.

1) In terms of section 58 (2) (c) of the
Constitution of Botswana, the Attorney general is
currently a member of the National Assembly.
Section 74(2) of the Constitution states that the
Attorney General shall have no vote.

2) In the amendment section 74 (2) of the
Constitution has been deleted. It is here that
the author misses the point and states that
"section 74(2) was recently deleted giving the
attorney General the right to vote in the
National Assembly. This essentially elevates
him/her to the position of a Specially Elected
Member of Parliament.

The author has understood neither the purpose nor
legal effect of the amendment. Section 58(2) (c)
of the Constitution has been repealed thus
relieving the Attorney general of membership of
the National assembly completely. The Attorney
General will no longer sit in Parliament at all.

3) The statement by the author that the Attorney
General is given the right to vote in Parliament
is a serious misrepresentation of the amended
legislation. The Attorney General remains the
Principal Legal Advisor of Government and the
Head of the Government Legal Department appointed
by the President as such.

We publish this statement because we believe that
the writer expressed a genuine but mistaken
interpretation of the proposed legislation. We
are prepared to discuss in detail the effect of
the amended legislation.

E 6) Additional notices and forwarding from 31/7-6/8/05:

* Modified schedule for the remainder of this week (2/8/05)
* List of delegation members from the SADC
Parliamentary Forum who are scheduled to meet
with the President today (4/8/05)

F. Botswana in the Global Media in July 2005

F 1) Global on line news reports about Botswana
during the month of June, along with May, 2005.

Note: The numbers below are approximations and do
not include all on line news reports, but rather
those recent, up to 30 day old, stories that are
being listed by major search engines with news
categories, which were consulted for this survey.
All categories are for text appearing online in
the English language unless otherwise indicated.

Keywords (7/05) (6/05) (5/05)
"Botswana" (total in English) 2030 2860 1850
1) & "AIDS" and/or "HIV" 305 813 429
2) & "AIDS" & "Pope Benedict" 1 145 0
3) & "Zimbabwe" 340 452 272
4) & "Trade" 295 546 258
5) & "President Mogae" (Eng.) 123 409 189
6) & Mogae & President Lula (Eng.) 6 - -
7) & Mogae & President Lula (Port.) 162 - -
8) & "President Bush, White House" 7 338 53
9) & "al Qaeda suspect" 179 - -
10) & "Democracy/Good Gov." 153 423 161
11) & "travel/tourism" 161 214 146
12) & "football/soccer" 78 230 135
13) & "Diamonds" 165 154 125
14) & "Human Development" 99 149 65
15) & "SADC" 80 106 64
16) & "Diamonds" & "Dev." 46 58 41
17) & "elephants" 66 24 37
18) & "Bushmen" 71 67 27
19) & "Masire" (former President) 12 17 25
20) "McCall Smith" (author) 13 37 17
21) & "Survival International" 41 29 1

This survey generally confines itself to reports
appearing online in English. Numbers 7, however,
samples coverage of President Mogae's 26/7/05
meeting with President Lula in the Brazilian
Portuguese language press. Two of the six English
language reports of the visit were from the
Brazilian News Agency, two from the Botswana
Press Agency, with one each from IRIN and In other words 98% of the
surveyed coverage was by Brazilian media and only
1% from Botswana media.

Number nine refers to the detention of an "al
Qaeda suspect" in Zambia, who is reported to have
passed through Botswana. By the end of the week
the number had climbed to over 250 reports, or
about 12% of all surveyed news reports mentioning

F 2) Principal sources of online news reports
about Botswana appearing on select major search
engines for the month of July 2005:

BOPA 306
Mmegi 192 100
News24 (RSA) 13
Sunday Times (RSA) 18
Independent (RSA) 20
Zim Papers (Zimbabwe) 0
Reuters 15
AFP (Agence France Presse) 12
IRIN (UN Info Network) 16
Inter Press Service (IPS) 5
Associated Press (AP) 47
Voice of America 2
Xinhua News (China) 6
Bloomberg International 19
United Press Inter. 9

Notes: Approximately 25% of the surveyed on-line
reports mentioning Botswana were sourced directly
from either the Botswana Press Agency (BOPA) or
Mmegi. All Mmegi reports, along with another 100
additional reports, were also distributed by A mere 4% of the stories were from
other identified regional, SADC, media sources.
The online editions of the local Botswana
Gazette, Midweek Sun and The Voice newspapers
continue to not appear on the news search engines
consulted for purposes of this survey.