The Expulsion Order

By the end of our last episode the Bechuanaland Resident Commissioner, Charles Rey had during the first week of June 1931 lured Kgosi Sebele II to Mahikeng, supposedly to discuss water projects, only to have him detained without charge and subsequently confined to Ghanzi.

In so doing, the Resident Commissioner had exercised the delegated authority of the High Commissioner, which allowed for indefinite detention without the requirement to show just cause (the fundamental legal principal of ‘habeas corpus’) of any and all “British Protected Persons” in Bechuanaland (i.e. all non-whites in the territory).

This unbridled power was provided for by the 1907 “Expulsion Order”, an instrument that had been originally been proclaimed to retroactively legitimise the prolonged detention without trial of the Batawana Kgosi Sekgoma Letsholathebe. It was thereafter wielded as a political weapon against numerous Batswana during the colonial era, including Dikgosi such as Gobuamang, Tshekedi Khama, John Nswazwi and Molefi as well as perhaps most famously Seretse Khama.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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