The Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation’s Public Relations Officer, Superintendent Wamorena Ramolefhe, has confirmed that they had late last month in Gaborone given a pauper’s burial to Jerry Maposa, a man believed to be Zimbabwean.
He disclosed that Maposa had
died from natural causes at Princess Marina Hospital but declined to say what he exactly died from, saying that medical ethics do not allow them to divulge information from a prisoner’s medical records.
”We are barred from disclosing such information to the public by medical ethics,” he said.
Before the decision to give Maposa a pauper’s funeral, he said that they had contacted the Zimbabwean authorities seeking their assistance in identifying the deceased’s family but that the Zimbabweans had said that they did not have records on him and was, therefore, not their citizen.
It is believed that Maposa might have been a boarder jumper, as he did not have any traveling documents on him. He was serving a 12-year jail term for burglary and theft.
Superintendent Ramolefhe disclosed that it was not the first time that they had given a prisoner a pauper’s funeral, adding that they had also provided the services to locals whose relatives they had failed to identify.
On the number of foreign prisoners serving time in the country’s prisons, he said that they are around 438 and that the number doubles to 966 when including those still on remand.
Foreign prisoners have also been blamed for the big prison population, which stood at 6,500 before President Ian Khama recently pardoned 1000 who were serving prison time for minor offences.