Local lawyers have described government’s decision to engage the services of Afriforum in the high profile money laundering and fraud case as ‘alarming’ and ‘ill-advised’.
In a recent statement, the Council of the Law Society of Botswana (LSB) stated that government’s decision was incomprehensible and perplexing given that there is extensive choice of legal representation in South Africa, in view of its much larger population and more developed legal services industry.
As such, LSB has called on government to urgently reconsider its engagement of Afriforum and reaffirm its commitment to ensuring racial equality and harmony in Botswana.
“At a time when there is a global wave to uproot racial inequality the world over, sparked by the recent killing of (an American) George Floyd, the Law Society of Botswana is alarmed that the Government of Botswana has elected to engage the services of Afriforum, an organisation in South Africa whose principal preoccupation is to fight for the preservation of the legacy of apartheid and set itself up as (an) opposing force to reforms that seek to redress racial inequalities of the past,” LSB noted.
According to LSB,
It also said in electing to make use of the services of the organisation, which is opposed to racial equality and advocates for the perpetuation of the legacy of apartheid, government has validated the stereotypes of rightwing organisations like Afriforum that enlightened Africans readily accept their inferiority and yearn for a return to oppressive white minority rule.
“In choosing Afriforum, ahead of many other Afrikaner legal practitioners, whose commitment to the values of racial equality are indisputable, the government is conveying to its citizens that it is ready to harbour and provide a paradise for racists and supremacists.” It further stated that this decision validates the small pockets of racists that “we have in our country, particularly within the tourism sector, who have little regard for black people”.