The Minister of Justice (MoJ) Machana Shamukuni disclosed before Parliament yesterday that in a decade, the country has recorded a total number of 2,088 murder cases.
Furthermore, Shamukuni denoted that only a fraction, 21.12% of the murder cases have been solved.
“Of the 2,088 murder cases registered at the courts since 2013, at least 441 perpetrators were convicted of murder offences,” he stated.
Out of a lot of the murder cases recorded, Shamukuni stated that only 1,829 of those cases were committed to the High Courts across the country pending trial. Minister Shamukuni added that 259 murder cases are at preparatory examination stages at Magistrates Courts across the country.
Shamukuni revealed there were acquilttals in 182 murder cases. He cited a lack of sufficient evidence by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) as grounds for charge withdrawals.
Meanwhile, the minister highlighted that 14 prisoners are currently on death row.
"Out of this number, two prisoners have not been successful in their appeal against the death sentence. Another two are currently before the Court of Appeal (CoA) seeking to overturn either their conviction, death sentence, or both. The other 10 convicts are still to be called for their appeals,” he said. On the timeframe, the minister echoed that the cases could take up to four years on average to conclude in courts.
“Currently, on average, murder cases take about 48 months to be concluded at courts. This process includes, firstly, registering the cases at Magistrates courts for a preparatory examination to be conducted. Once the police have concluded their evidence into the murder and the office of the DPP is satisfied with the evidence collected an application can be made to commit the suspect,” Shamukuni said.
The minister was responding to a question from Member of Parliament Serowe North Baratiwa Mathoothe, who had asked the minister, amongst others, to state the number of murder cases recorded in Botswana over the last 10 years and give the total number of arrests, acquittals, and convictions.