- No court case in Botswana: Where was the judicial process filed?- Moahi
- Findings of the shooting is sub judice- Masisi
Recently President Mokgweetsi Masisi left the legal fraternity in Botswana in total confusion when he informed the Namibian press that joint investigation report into the shooting incident of three Namibians and a Zambian national by the Botswana Defence Force last year is not yet for public consumption as it is sub judice.
“There is a process that still needs to be completed in Botswana. I would advise strongly not for the report to be made public until so authorized by a competent court. The content of the report established all the facts. Let us not go ahead of the truth, until the competent court authorizes it,” he said.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations Dr Lemogang Kwape though admitting that the findings have been completed, referred this publication to the Office of the President regarding the judicial process. He said that the investigation into the shooting was completed last year and a report has been submitted to the two Heads of State for assessment.
“As for the judicial process you can contact the press secretary to the president for clarification,” he said refusing to be drawn if indeed the matter is before the Courts of Law.
A questionnaire sent to the Press Secretary to the President Batlhalefi Leagajang was not responded to at the time of going to press though sent on Monday.
This publication wanted to establish when a judicial process was started and who the complainants on the matter are.
A legal expert, Lesedi Moahi of Moahi Attorneys said for the content of the report to be sub judice, it should be under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion elsewhere. “For it to be sub judice they should be a complainant who reported the matter to the police for killing of the four fishermen. Currently, we don’t have such a case in Botswana,” he said.
Though both Masisi and his Namibian counterpart Hage Geingob refused to divulge the findings on the shootings, it is alleged that the report is not conclusive on what transpired on that fateful day. “While the investigators agreed that the fishermen violated the territorial integrity of Botswana, they couldn’t agree if indeed were poachers as there were no concrete evidence to suggest that,” revealed a source close to the investigations.
Another thorny issue on the report is said to be whether the BDF officers applied the rules of engagement before shooting the four fishermen. President Masisi during his working visit to Namibia recently gave a glimpse about the issue as he said that Botswana has no shoot to kill policy.
“Every nation has rules of engagement in its territorial space. And we are no different in Botswana. But we are not a threat to people or institutions going killing willy-nilly. We are not trigger happy, even the Botswana police or BDF, we follow due processes and respect life,” he reasoned.