Friday, December 4, 2020

Facebook comments land journalist in court

Comments posted on Facebook have landed a local journalist in court in what is believed to be the first case of its kind in Botswana.

A 19-year-old woman has taken Daniel Kenosi to court for comments he allegedly made about her on his Facebook page.

Rorisang Nkwe dragged Kenosi before Urban Court President Dikwalo Monametsi to answer for common nuisance charges.

According to the charge sheet read in court, it is alleged that on 16 February Kenosi posted on his Facebook wall post comments which read thus; “BEWARE!!!! Be warned of one young lady in between ages of 19 nd 20 called Rorisang Nkwe. She is alleged 2 be caught in a web of hidden issues ranging frm abortions, fraud and stealing.”

Kenosi pleaded not guilty to the charges and told the court that the matter be referred to the Magistrate Court.

“I have contacted my lawyer and he has advised me that the matter should be argued before a Magistrate court. So I’m praying that this matter be referred to the Magistrate Court,” said Kenosi.

But Monametsi told the court that the matter be referred to the Customary Court of Appeal.

“Under Section 37, sub section 1, this matter must be referred to the Customary Court of Appeal not the Magistrate Court. The Customary Court of Appeal will decide whether the matter should be heard by this court or the Magistrate Court. That is the procedure,” he said.

Asked by Monametsi if she had witnesses, Rorisang answered in the affirmative.

Reports indicate that the latest development may only be the start of a number of such cases as official and public’s resolve hardens against abusive comments on social media sites.

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