23 June 2019

Botswana: Sexual Predators,Offenders Registry in Offing

Photo: Vanguard
Rape

Gaborone — The Ministry of Defence, Justice and Security is in the process of creating a mandatory sexual predators and offenders registry.

Briefing members of Ntlo ya Dikgosi recently, deputy secretary for Defence, Justice and Security, Ms Dimpho Mogami said this followed the passing of a motion by Parliament in December 2017 requesting government to consider creating such a registry.

The motion, tabled by Specially Elected MP Ms Bogolo Kenewendo, who is Investment, Trade and Industry minister, also requested government to ban child sexual abuse offenders from working in institutions dealing with children.

The proposed registry, Ms Mogami explained, would have a full sexual perpetrators list that would be available for inspection by members of the public as a way of ensuring that anyone in the record did not end up working in institutions dealing with children.

It would be a permanent record kept by the Registrar of the High Court with all the necessary personal details of perpetrators to help employers and interested parties to conduct checks, she said.

Ms Mogami said it would be entirely upon employers to establish if those they intended to hire were not listed as sexual offenders.

Given that sexual violation resulted in emotional abuse, which had long lasting physical and psychological effects, Ms Mogami said the registry was part of government efforts in the fight against the increasing number of sex offenders in the country.

"The whole essence of this register is mainly for public safety and not necessary for double jeopardy. We want it to be a deterrent and to help reduce sexual offenses, as some perpetrators are repeat offenders," she said.

Prior to the creation of the registry, Ms Mogami said the ministry embarked on nationwide consultations with the public and stakeholders, 'because sexual offences are of national importance and we want to curb the prevalence of these offences'.

Currently, as per sexual offenses statistics from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, there were 172 rape cases, 23 of defilement and three of attempted rape.

Source: BOPA

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