SA constitution saves man from gallows
THE South African constitution, which outlaws the death sentence, has saved a Botswana citizen from possibly hanging if convicted on a murder charge in his country.
Keitkile Jampe, with the help of Lawyers for Human Rights, turned to the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, for an urgent order that he be released from Lindela Repatriation Camp in Krugersdorp, where he has been detained for more than 430 days pending extradition to Botswana.
But Jampe said that should he go back to his country of origin, he may be hanged. The Botswana police are looking for him in connection with a charge of murder.
The parties settled the matter in terms of which Home Affairs agreed not to deport him unless the Botswana government gave an assurance that he would not receive the death penalty if he returned.
Judge Lettie Molopa-Sethosa also ordered that he be released from Lindela. Jampe has to report to the director-general of Home Affairs to secure his lawful stay in South Africa in terms of the immigration regulations.
Jampe said in court papers that he was born in 1979 in Botswana. He has no formal education and is a shepherd. He fled to South Africa in August last year as he feared he would be arrested for a crime punishable by the death sentence.
He was arrested by the SAPS shortly after he crossed the border, for entering the country illegally.
A magistrate in Kuruman in the Northern Cape sentenced him to 50 days’ imprisonment for being illegal in the country. This he served, but when he was released, he was nabbed again and taken to Lindela.
Jampe said that while at Lindela, his uncle told him police in Botswana were asking about his whereabouts. This related to the criminal investigation against him. He did not elaborate on the alleged crime.
Botswana prescribes the death penalty for murder and treason. South Africa, which abolished the death penalty more than 20 years ago, cannot in terms of the law and constitution send a person back to a country while knowing that the person may face death.
Jampe said he lived in fear every day at Lindela that he would be deported back to Botswana. “I live in fear for my life and safety,” he said.