Botswana reviews sexual offence penalties

Changes: The new Act was signed two weeks ago PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Changes: The new Act was signed two weeks ago PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

In its continued efforts to curb and prevent sexual offences, Botswana as of September 15, 2023 increased penalties against sexual offences. Falsely accusing someone of sexual abuse is also now an offence.

According to a Savingram dated September 14, 2023, the Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni officially announced that the Penal Code amendment Act of 2021, has "been amended to enhance penalties against morality, make provision for compensation of victims of sexual offences and to criminalise false allegations of sexual offences”.

The new Act says once convicted of rape, the convicts may now spend the rest of his or her life in prison. “..., any person who has been charged with the offence of rape shall, subject to Sub Sections (2) and (4), upon conviction be sentenced to a minimum terms of 20 years imprisonment or a maximum term of life imprisonment,” reads the Act. In addition, if the rape according to court findings also resulted in violence or injury to the victim, the perpetrator will have a minimum sentence of 25 years or a to a maximum life imprisonment with or without corporal punishment.

Editor's Comment
Bravo police for prompt action

It is also hurting that whilst we all know that the Botswana Police Service (BPS) is charged functionally with the duties to investigate all forms of crime, some locals have resorted to taking the law into their own hands. It is very wrong to do that. There is also a possibility that one may wrongfully take the life of a person in the process, unless it is a justifiable case of self-defence. Recently, in the city of Francistown, some locals found...

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