- Failure to wear mask tops list of offences
- Most paid fines and were released
- Some were arrested for allegedly obstructing the police
Failure to wear face masks is at the top of a list of 208 506 violations of rules and regulations for containing COVID-19 recorded by Botswana Police Service (BPS) between the first imposition of the State of Emergency (SoE) in April last year and the end of it on Botswana Day (30 September) this year, The Botswana Gazette has established.
Police say unlawful movement, drinking alcohol in prohibited areas and unlawful gathering are next in this order.
According to BPS spokesman Dipheko Motube, the culprits were fined between P300 to P5 000. Most paid and were released but some were detained.
“In some instances, the culprits were detained for criminal offences that they committed when confronted by the police,” Motube explained. “The offences were mostly of obstructing the police in the course of doing their duty.”
He added that allegations of harassment by the police and wrongful arrest and detention arose out of such situations, especially those in which intake of alcohol was an issue.
Among widely publicised incidents of alleged police brutality was one in which 22-year old Neo Dikgole and her 18-year old brother Thuso Sebinyane were purportedly beaten and injured by the police in Lobatse.
In another incident, police allegedly fired teargas at students protesting against non-payment of their allowances at BIUST on September 29 last year. Two students were arrested and charged with incitement to violence.
Botswana Patriotic Front spokesman Justice Motlhabani was allegedly taken by unknown state agents from his home where he was on self-isolation and tortured.
In yet another incident, a patrol squad of police officers and soldiers allegedly assaulted a paraplegic in Selebi-Phikwe. The paraplegic, a former BCL employee named Castro Mmele, ended up hospitalised for severe injuries.