The Botswana Council of Non Government Organisations (BOCONGO) wishes to join the citizen of this country in condemning the latest trend of our security operatives to kill people outside the realm of the justice process. We note with concern the latest addition to the statistics of those fallen at the bullet of state operatives, John Kalafatis, who was allegedly shot dead in public.
We learn that at the time of the killing, Kalafatis was not armed at the time of the killing; we also learn that most of the shots penetrated his body from the back, and were aimed at the upper part of his body. Graphic pictures displayed by the family lawyers at a recent press briefing showed a body punctured with several bullet holes, and it seems the intention was to eliminate him and not to resist force applied against the security operatives.
BOCONGO agrees with those who argue that, at this stage, what is important is to bring to book the culprits. We believe that at all times we should follow due justice process. Any person suspected to be on the wrong side of the law should be investigated, arrested and tried in the courts of law. Our justice system has been tried and tested and we have confidence in its credibility.
The recent shootings have the ability to dent Botswana’s integrity and credibility as a shining example of democracy and good governance. Therefore, a thorough independent investigation and decisive action based on information is well able to redeem us of this potential pitfall. We encourage our leaders to keep the nation abreast of the developments to instil confidence and trust in the systems we have as a nation.
BOCONGO applauds that Botswana has all along enjoyed accolades for its respect of the rule of law. It is therefore imperative that this be maintained and every deviation be condemned with collective and sustained vigour.
Botswana subscribes to the universal declarations of Human Rights as well as to other international obligations. The Constitution of Botswana also clearly recognizes the sanctity of life and succinctly stipulates the process to be followed if indeed there has to be a deprival of life. The recent shootings therefore do not comply with this and are extra judicial and therefore undesirable and unacceptable.
It is therefore BOCONGO’s call that security operatives who shot dead John Kalafatis be brought to book. The Government must go further and share with the nation reports on the previous deaths caused by the security operatives and institute prosecutions wherever necessary.
Finally we would like to join others and send our condolences to the family of John Kalafatis and express our deepest sorrow at the loss of one of their beloved ones.