Botswana hangs death-row inmate
The Botswana Department of Prisons and Rehabilitation has confirmed the hanging of death row inmate Sepeni Thubisane Popo, the Mmegi (Reporter) newspaper reported on Monday.
It was Botswana’s 39th execution since independence from Britain in 1966.
The paper quoted senior assistant commissioner Anthony Mokento as saying on Friday: “It is true Popo was hanged this morning.”
Popo had been found guilty of murdering Boitshwarelo Balotlegi in Molepolole in 2004 to use his body for ritual purposes.
“Mokento would not reveal the number of people on death row in Botswana, but recent media reports say ‘three or four people’ are facing execution,” Mmegi said.
Botswana’s retention of the death penalty repeatedly sparks controversy.
The government’s stance is that: “Botswana upholds the use of the death penalty in cases of premeditated murder where there are no extenuating circumstances’.
Those sentenced to death have an automatic right of appeal, first to the Court of Appeal, then to the president who makes a final decision, but is assisted by the Advisory Committee of the Prerogative of Mercy.
There have now been seven executions during the presidency of Festus Mogae (1998 - ).
During the presidency of Seretse Khama (1966-1980) 17 people were executed and under Ketumile Masire (1980-1998) 15 hangings took place.