Bring justice to customary courts

Elsewhere in this edition we carry the story about justice in our customary courts. The time-honored institution is threatening to become a liability, unless measures are taken to ensure its fairness.

Take the story of the young man who got whipped at Urban Customary Court or Mosetlheng as it is popularly known.His only crime was having in his possession some cheap cologne and roll-on. In spite of his protestations that he got the fragrances from his middle-class sister, and the sister explaining that she indeed bought them for him, the customary court meted out its punishment – four strokes on his bare buttocks for theft.

 The court concluded that since neither the young man, nor his sister could produce receipt of purchase he must have stolen the items. But should customary courts mete out such irreversible punishment on the basis of some probability? Sadly that is the case.

Editor's Comment
Has life become worthless?

As many wondered what wrong the young boy could have done to end up killed, it emerged that his own cousin was a suspect in the murder after he claimed P50,000 from Botswana Life. Thato Tsametse, who was last week sentenced to death for the murder of his cousin, had reportedly taken out two Mmoloki Funeral Covers valued at P25,000 each.Over the years, the media has been covering the murder case, and some revelation has come up that certain...

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