Botswana citizens who skip the country to South Africa after committing murder in Botswana will be spared the hangman’s noose following a milestone agreement signed recently between Botswana and South Africa.
Deputy Police Commissioner, Kenneth Kapinga, this week defended the agreement which ensured that Botswana citizen Benson Keganne who was found guilty of murdering a Pitsane woman, Gloria Mahowe, will not be hanged.
Kapinga said the agreement was an international matter and had to be observed by all parties involved in it.
The Deputy Commissioner of the Police said countries have the right to place conditions for extradition of criminals that have skipped into their country.
Apart from making sure that such criminals are arrested before they cross into other countries, “We only have to make sure that they are arrested before crossing the border if they commit crimes here,” he said.
“I certainly have a problem in a case where the person involved is a citizen of this country. My view is that he should be subjected to our laws,” said Kapinga.
The Assistant Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Kabo Leinaeng, who was prosecuting the matter, concurs with Kapinga.
According to him, this is the only way to deal with such a matter, because if we, for one reason or the other, fail to carry out part of our agreement, then we will lose a lot in that South Africa might then refuse to help us arrest criminals in their country and to extradite them to Botswana.
Criminals he said will then turn South Africa into a safe heaven and will, after committing offences in Botswana, cross into South Africa knowing that they will not be arrested or even extradited from South Africa.
“I know how people might feel about this agreement but I think it is the best for us if we want to continue getting assistance from the South Africans, he said.