Botswana: Attorney General to Appeal High Court Ruling On Same-Sex Relationships


Gaborone — Attorney General Advocate Abraham Keetshabe says he will appeal last month's High Court judgement decriminalising same-sex relationshionships.

"I have thoroughly read the 132 page-long judgment and I am of the view that the High Court erred in arriving at this conclusion and thus decided to note an appeal with the Court of Appeal," says in a statement.

The attorney general says he found it necessary to state his position regarding the High Court's decision on the Constitutional challenge that Sections 164 (a) and (c) as well as 165 of the Penal Code are declared ultra vires of the constitution in that they violate section three, nine and 15 dealing with liberty, privacy, dignity and discrimination.

The statement notes that the stated provisions criminilise same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults and prescribe a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment.

The background to the matter is that Letsweletse Motshidiemang, a "gay" person, instituted an application in the High Court challenging the constitutionality of the stated sections, says the statement.

It recalls that Lesbians, Gays and Bisexual of Botswana (LEGABIBO) appeared as a friend of the court in the matter heard by justices Mr Abednego Tafa, Mr Michael Leburu and Ms Jennifer Dube.

The three judges unanimously ruled on June 11 in favour of decriminalising homosexuality.

The court rejected the laws against same-sex relationships stating that they were unconditional as they violate privacy, liberty and dignity, are discriminatory and serve no public interest.

Source : BOPA

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