Police Warn Against Consulting Traditional Doctors

• Say the law does not recognise supernatural powers
The Botswana Police Service (BPS) has called on the public to be mindful of the fact that the law does not recognise supernatural or spiritual powers.
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette against the backdrop of people under police investigation and/or the accused turning to traditional doctors, BPS spokesman Dipheko Motube said although consulting traditional doctors is prevalent in Batswana’s culture, the law does not recognise it.
Distressed families of missing persons also usually turn to traditional doctors to help in the search of their loved ones, but the effort often amounts to nothing when the traditional doctors are arrested for causing unrests with their speculative utterances.
Guilty of an offence
“As much as we need the public to help us with information that could help in solving cases, we do not accept information sourced through supernatural powers,” Motube said.
“According to Section 3 (a) to (e) of the Witchcraft Act Number 12 of 1998, any person who names or indicates another person as being a witch or wizard by imputing to them the use of witchcraft or any instrument of witchcraft with intent to cause injury or misfortune is guilty of an offence. It further states that any person who claims to have supernatural powers to solve some issues at hand with intent to cause misfortune or injury to another person is guilty of an offence. Therefore, supernatural powers are not recognised in solving different matters before the police.”
Motube’s warning comes against the backdrop of the arrest and detention of traditional doctors engaged to help in the search of missing persons. One of the traditional doctors who has been arrested several times is Paul Keitlholetse, who is commonly known as Rabeisane.
In 2016, Rabeisane was arrested by the police in Mogoditshane and fined P600 after he fingered a man in an incident where a woman had had her gas cylinder stolen.
The same Keitlholetse was arrested in Lobatse in 2022 when engaged to find Tlotso Karema who had gone missing. Keitlholetse was accused of causing unrest in Lobatse.
In the latest incident, Rabeisane was arrested and detained last Friday after he was engaged by the Mavela family to find Godfrey Mavela who went missing in March this year.