- 8 cases taken to Disciplinary Committee
- 6 officers found guilty of brutality, 4 acquitted
- 15 cases still under investigation
Action has finally been taken against police officers accused of abuse and assaulting citizens during the State of Emergency (SoE), The Botswana Gazette has established.
The Botswana Police Service (BPS) has confirmed the alleged cases of police brutality recorded between 1st April 2020 and 31st September 2021, the period during which the country was under SoE.
“We have since investigated such incidents and eight of them were found to have merit,” said BPS spokesman Dipheko Motube. “Disciplinary processes were commenced in respect of the officers involved.”
“Six (officers) have so far appeared before the disciplinary boards, found guilty, convicted and punished accordingly in terms of the Police Act. Four officers were discharged and acquitted and the remaining incidents relating to 15 officers are still under (the) disciplinary process.”
Motube did not state state exactly what action was taken against the perpetrators. Incidents of police brutality were thrown into sharp relief during the SoE.
The MP for the Okavango, Kenny Kapinga, who is a former deputy police commissioner, told The Botswana Gazette in a previous interview that issues of abuse, assault and use of force by the police on citizens had reached the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence, Justice and Security that he chairs.
“The committee engaged the police commissioner just recently and it was one of the issues that were discussed,” he said. “We understood that he was caught up in a dilemma.”
“Some feel that police are too lenient while some felt the police were using too much force on citizens. I have encountered similar cases in my capacity as a private lawyer. I have a client who is suing the police for assaulting them.”
He added that his committee would present a report on the matter to Parliament.