Former army men convicted for the gruesome killing of John Kalafatis have been set free.
President Ian Khama has pardoned Ronney Matako, Gotshosamang Sechele and Boitshoko Maifala.
Government spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay, confirmed that the three have been released.
“I can confirm that there has been a conditional pardon,” said Ramsay. He, however, was evasive when questioned about the condition of their release.
The trio was serving 11-year sentences in prison for a murder committed in 2008.
By last week, the three men tasted freedom and were strolling the streets of Gaborone.
The lawyer acting for the Kalafatis’ family, Duma Boko, said that he is deeply horrified by the President’s decision to free the convicts.
Boko said that the President’s decision to free men who had killed in cold blood undermines the criminal justice process.
He added that the President had not even bothered to visit or send a comfort message ever since Kalafatis was executed by state security officers.
“What message is the Presidency sending to the Kalafatis family and to the entire nation that was griped with shock and horror at the grotesque brutality displayed on the killing of John Kalafatis?”
He said the pardon is also a clear demonstration of a lack of confidence on the criminal justice system, notably the High Court’s finding and pronouncements.
Boko said that, curiously, the President had decided to pardon these convicts despite the fact that the High Court had ruled that they deserved to serve over 10 years imprisonment as punishment.
“What is his special interest in these particular offenders, how can we not suspect that he had a personal interest in the case…?”
The lawyer, who is also leader of the Botswana National Front, stated that under Khama’s regime such a gesture was not surprising.
“This is a corrupt regime that has no respect for justice and deserves the dignity of removal from office…it looks like there is a special dispensation for certain offenders.”