11TH JUNE 2019-JUDGEMENT ON SECTION 164 CASE TO BE DELIVERED TOMORROW
- Tomorrow, 11th June 2019, the Gaborone High Court will deliver its judgment on the landmark case; Letsweletse Motshidiemang v The Attorney General and Another with LEGABIBO as amicus curiae. This is a case where a gay man is challenging the constitutionality of Section 164 (a) and (c) and Section 167 of the Botswana Penal Code.
- The task of the court tomorrow will be to answer the legal question posed before it being; whether S164 (a) and (c) – which prohibits sexual intercourse per anum- is indeed unconstitutional and should be struck down.
- The fact that the case was heard in our courts speaks volumes about the openness and progressive nature of the Botswana legal system. This case has also created a platform for discourse on Botswana’s “anti-sodomy laws” and how they affect therights of the marginalized members of society. Batswana have also been given an opportunity to take stock of their views and assess the impact of such views on the protection, promotion and fulfilment of the rights of the minority.
- Over the years, BONELA has seen first-hand how laws such as S164 (a) and (c) and S167 have led to widespread stigma and discrimination, making LGBTI persons vulnerable to targeting, violence and blackmailing. These laws have also acted as impediments to accessing essential medical services as they have driven LGBTI persons underground and away from health services. The removal of these sections from the Penal Code will therefore ensure they are protected and fully enjoy their rights.
- BONELA is hopeful that tomorrow’s judgement will be one that reflects a modern and progressive society that seeks to see the rights of people, regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, gender, colour or creed protected. A Botswana which fully embodies the principles of botho indiscriminately.