Lawyers want dead homicidal colleague punished

  • Rankwane’s body was found next to his girlfriend’s last week
  • Lawyers’ body petitioned to disbar Rankwane

Staff Writer

Two Gaborone-based lawyers, Gosego Lekgowe and Kabo Motswagole, have raised an issue of professional misconduct against Steve Rankwane, the lawyer who allegedly shot his ex girlfriend and killed himself on 14 January 2021.

The grisly scene was discovered in a house inside a gated neighbourhood at Extension 12 in Gaborone where his ex girlfriend Chatapiwa Keankantse lived. Details are scant but it is believed Rankwane shot the young woman in the face before turning the gun on himself in full view of a man that he found Keakantse with.

Deceased: Ms Chatapiwa Keankantse

In a letter to the Law Society of Botswana, Lekgowe and Motswagole say Rankwane violated his attorney’s oath and ethics as an officer of the High Court and conducted himself disgracefully and dishonourably.

“We believe and submit that by committing the crime of murder or killing a fellow practitioner and human being, Steve Rankwane not only breached the national penal law but also fell afoul of the ethics of the legal profession in his capacity as an attorney,” reads the two lawyers’ petition to LSB.

Perpetrator: Steve Rankwane

“We have perused the legal Practitioners Act, the regulations of LSB and the general law of the land and found no bar against the making of a posthumous complaint against an attorney for professional misconduct,” they wrote. “We are therefore convinced that the Law Society of Botswana Discipline Committee can and must entertain this matter.”

The letter goes on to press for a posthumous finding of professional misconduct against Steve Rankwane whose name they also want struck off the roll for his conduct.

The petition has prompted mixed reactions from other legal practitioners, with some saying the perpetrator was born and raised in a society in which all Batswana are born raised and that his case should therefore be treated in the same way as similar cases of others would be treated. Others agree with the petitioners and say gender-based violence should not be tolerated in all its manifestations.