Human rights group Ditshwanelo has urged the Botswana government to suspend the
execution of murderers.
This follows the hanging of Zibani Thamo on January 31 for the murder of his
girlfriend in 2007.
In Southern Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe are some of the countries that
institute the death penalty.
South Africa abolished the death penalty in 1995, a year after the demise of
apartheid, while Namibia had already done so when it gained independence in
Ditshwanelo said the state should place a moratorium on institution of the
death penalty pending complete abolition.
The group said it respected the right to life and said neither individuals nor
the state had the right to kill anyone.
Ditshwanelo said there was no empirical evidence that the death penalty was an
effective deterrent and reduced murder rates.
Botswana police statistics show there was an increase in murder cases in 2010.
In that year, police recorded 153 murders compared to 141 in 2009.
There are currently 4 inmates in Botswana awaiting the hangman's noose after
their appeals against sentence failed.
A 2009 conference on the death penalty, organised by the African Commission on
Human and People’s Rights, recommended the abolition of capital punishment
across the continent.
(source: The Southern Times)