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
GBV: The big elephant in the room

Sadly, the country seems not to have proper tools and the extent to which women and the girl-child are being abused is not adequately measured.Almost every week there are reports of women being attacked by their significant others and while men are attacked as well, women seem to be more on the receiving end.On May 24, 2023 news broke that a woman who was receiving support from the Botswana Gender-Based Violence Prevention Centre in Gaborone, was...

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