15.10.14: Attorney General Appeals the Judgement on the Provision of ARV for Foreign Prisoners

 

On the 3rd of October 2014 The Attorney General(AG) filed its Intention to Appeal and grounds of appeal in the recently decided case as above.

Our Attorneys Rantao Kewagamang were served with the court process. The AG is appealing the judgement which was granted by Sechele J. in its

entirety. Substantively the grounds of appeal amongst others summarily are as below;

•           That the court a quo (High Court) misdirected itself in the ruling that foreign inmates should be given ART;

•           Interpretation of the court must be found to be invalid as the Judge misdirected himself in holding that such denial as per the Savingram

excluding foreign inmates from HAART was not an executive decision but an administrative one;

•           That the Judge erred in ruling that withholding treatment from foreign inmates is unconstitutional and takes away their right to life

•           Lastly that such denial is unlawful.

It is anticipated that the appeal will be heard next year in the January 2015 appeal session. BONELA respects the Appellant’ right to appeal and

shall await the judgement of the Court of Appeal. We hope that the court of appeal will find in our favour.

 

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Cindy Kelemi BONELA Director This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Keikantse Phele Legal Advisor     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

29th July 2014: NGAKA NGAKA IS A DISGRACE TO THE BOTSWANA POLITICAL LEADERSHIP!

The Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) is disappointed in Honourable Member of Parliament (MP) for Letlhakeng-Lephephe constituency, Ngaka Ngaka as a leader. BONELA learnt with shock and dismay that a leader could be so irresponsible in the public, if his recent utterance at the launch of Minister and MP candidate Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri is anything to go by.

The statement by MP Ngaka Ngaka that he is ‘shocked that opposition parties encouraged people to boycott government programmes while they are taking antiretroviral’ is heavily laced with implications that may perpetuate stigma and discrimination, and is unbecoming of someone in such a position of influence.

Not only can it be inferred that the MP is showing blatant intolerance and disregard for voters living with HIV; his statement has the potential to deter opposition politicians to test for HIV and non-adherence to treatment for those who are on antiretroviral treatment.

While BONELA recognises that slander and ridicule of opponent’s parties has become part and parcel of lobbying the electorate for their votes, the right to freedom of expression should not infringe on the rights of others, such as the right to respect and dignity.

BONELA calls on all leaders to show respect, accountability and progressiveness in advancing the recognition and enforcement of human rights. BONELA condemns in strongest terms such disgraceful behaviour and for all stakeholders to take steps to ensure that leaders remember that they are in power to serve the people, not ridicule them.

For more information, please contact BONELA on 393 2516/72385054/73652185

12th September 2014: Botswana High Court to Address Adoption of Children Born Out of Wedlock

 

Gaborone--On Monday 15 September 2014; the Botswana High Court will hear a constitutional challenge to the Adoption of Children Act. The Act permits a child who is born out of wedlock to be adopted by a third party without the consent of the child’s biological father.

“The people who lose out most under this law are children born out of wedlock. Through our Children’s Rights Project, we have seen the negative impact of adoptions like these on children’s welfare,” says Cindy Kelemi from the Botswana Network on Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS (BONELA). BONELA is advocating for law reform in child adoption to ensure that it is aligned with the principles enshrined in the Children’s Act of 2009.

George Khwarae brought this challenge to the Act arguing that without a change to the law his minor daughter, who was born out of wedlock and with whom he has had a relationship with since she was born; will be adopted against his wishes. Given that he has been involved in her life since she was born, he argues that the Adoption Act violates his rights under the Constitution.

“The law requires that the best interests of the child are paramount. It is not in the child’s best interests when fathers who have parented and cared for the child can have their parental rights terminated without their consent in all circumstances,” says Annabel Raw, a project lawyer with the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC), which is providing assistance on the case.

What:           The Botswana High Court will hear legal argument in Khwarae v Keaikitse and Others.

Where:     High Court, Gaborone, Botswana

When:       Monday 15 September, 9:30

For more information:

Felistus Motimedi, Programmes Manager, BONELA: +267 393 2516 (o); +267 7169 2850 (m); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Priti Patel, Deputy Director, SALC: +27 (0)10 596 8538 (o); +27 76 808 0505 (m); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Annabel Raw, Project Lawyer, SALC: +27 (0)10 596 8538 (o); +27 (0)83 784 8496 (m); This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For live Twitter updates from the Court: @Follow_SALC; #Khwarae

26.07.2014 Violence in Sex Work is real

One of Sisonke members experienced a horrific, violent incident which landed her in hospital fighting for her life. She left for work on Friday 26 July 2014 at her usual spot in G-west. As she was working, she met a client and ended up taking him home with her. As soon as they finished on the agreed service, the client became violent towards her, and raped her several times. It came as a surprise to her; the person who was sweet and kind a moment ago changed to something else, she was overpowered and helpless.

As soon as he was done raping her, he punched her, kicked her like a punching bag. He then went on to take a screw driver to stab her on the ear ample times. And finally dragged her to the neighbor’s standpipe, put her under running water and left her to die. She was found by neighbors in the morning; she could not talk nor move. They called the police who were able to take her to Marina Hospital where she is getting medical attention but remains unconscious.

The culprit stole everything from her. Her passport, money and clothes were not recovered after the incident.

This is an example of what will continue to happen if the Government maintains that sex work is criminal. Sex workers will continue to be exploited and more vulnerable to STIs, HIV and all other different forms of violence. And culprits will live amongst us and go unpunished. This member for example, her perpetrator will walk freely if the victim is not able to identify him and might repeat the same thing to another person who might not even be a sex worker.

BONELA and Sisonke therefore urge the nation to be watchdogs for crimes of violence in order to improve human rights of key populations such as women and sex workers. We would also like to take this opportunity to show our sincere gratitude to Marina health care workers and the G-west police who have provided the necessary medical care and support and managed the situation from the beginning of this case.

SISONKE is a national organization established in 2010, which advocates for the rights of sex workers in Botswana. The founding members of SISONKE wanted to take responsibility for bringing about change within the sex worker community and stand up for their rights. Membership of SISONKE is made up of individuals, groups and organisations which share the same values with Sisonke. SISONKE is a nested partner within BONELA, an organization that advocates for equal human rights across stigmatized groups, which helps the organization realize its goals.

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