Friday, September 25, 2020

Death penalty continues to complicate Botswana/SA relations

Diplomatic relations between Botswana and South Africa will once again be put to the test over the extradition of four South African nationals who are wanted for murder in Botswana.

The government of Botswana has launched an application for the four to be extradited back here to face murder charges. In the past, South Africa was reluctant to extradite murder suspects to Botswana because she does not support the death penalty.

South Africa has always insisted that Botswana should give guarantees that murder suspects who are extradited will not be hanged.

The issue has once again come to the fore, and Botswana has asked South Africa to extradite the four, who are accused of brutally murdering an elderly couple in Pitshane Village last September.
The four are said to have robbed and killed two siblings, aged 60 and 69, and then skipped the border to their native South Africa.

Pitshane police station commander, Thari Senwelo, said on Monday that the suspects illegally crossed into Botswana, where they attended a wedding during the day.

They then visited a drinking spot in the village, and later in the night attacked the elderly siblings, robbing them and killing them with bricks and logs.

“We have not arrested anyone as yet, but we have already identified suspects and we know they are South African nationals,” he said.

He also said they have already notified Interpol about the alleged suspects.

Botswana has in the past refused to give South Africa guarantees that suspects who are extradited to face murder charges will not be executed. A number of people who were facing murder charges in Botswana have also run away to South Africa.

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