Judges miss chance to condemn ‘barbaric’ custom

Three women judges of Zambia’ Court of Appeal have dismissed a young man’s appeal against his sentence: 30 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for violently raping his 12-year-old cousin three times. He claimed he took the girl as part of a Tonga custom in terms of which, as the judges put it in their decision, ‘one can abduct a woman and have sexual intercourse with her and later formalise the marriage’. But the judges did not take the opportunity to criticise this custom. They simply rejected this justification of his actions because the trial record did not mention any agreement between the accused and the girl’s father for her to be abducted for the purposes of marriage. Why don’t judges speak out and condemn such barbarities as rape in the name of traditional marriage?

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Lesotho’s PM threatens top judge with second impeachment

Judicial politics in Lesotho, highly fraught for some time, must now be the despair of the continent. For the fourth time in just a few years, a cloud hangs over a top judge of this mountain kingdom, with threats of suspension and impeachment. The latest development has been laid bare for the whole country to see, with the leaking of two letters indicating the struggle going on behind the scenes – and judicial independence, along with the Rule of Law, is very much the victim.

The judge at the centre of the latest scandal to rock the judiciary in Lesotho is no stranger to the threat of impeachment. Appeal court president, Kananelo Mosito, has already resigned once before, sending in his letter just as King Letsie III was issuing an official notice of his impeachment for gross misconduct.

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Namibian Minister quits after corruption conviction

It is not common to read of a high court finding a government minister guilty of corruption but, this week, what might be unthinkable in many countries came to pass in Namibia. The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture was convicted under anti-corruption laws for actions taken when she was still a district Governor. Katrina Hanse-Himarwe has since resigned, getting in first as it became clear that President Hage Geingob planned to dismiss her.

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When Namibia’s Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwe, removed certain people from the list of those in line for new government houses and replaced them with nominees of her own, the Anti-Corruption Commission took note.

Read more

Judges miss chance to condemn ‘barbaric’ custom

Three women judges of Zambia’ Court of Appeal have dismissed a young man’s appeal against his sentence: 30 years’ imprisonment with hard labour for violently raping his 12-year-old cousin three times. He claimed he took the girl as part of a Tonga custom in terms of which, as the judges put it in their decision, ‘one can abduct a woman and have sexual intercourse with her and later formalise the marriage’. But the judges did not take the opportunity to criticise this custom. They simply rejected this justification of his actions because the trial record did not mention any agreement between the accused and the girl’s father for her to be abducted for the purposes of marriage. Why don’t judges speak out and condemn such barbarities as rape in the name of traditional marriage?

Read more

Lesotho’s PM threatens top judge with second impeachment

Judicial politics in Lesotho, highly fraught for some time, must now be the despair of the continent. For the fourth time in just a few years, a cloud hangs over a top judge of this mountain kingdom, with threats of suspension and impeachment. The latest development has been laid bare for the whole country to see, with the leaking of two letters indicating the struggle going on behind the scenes – and judicial independence, along with the Rule of Law, is very much the victim.

The judge at the centre of the latest scandal to rock the judiciary in Lesotho is no stranger to the threat of impeachment. Appeal court president, Kananelo Mosito, has already resigned once before, sending in his letter just as King Letsie III was issuing an official notice of his impeachment for gross misconduct.

Read more

Namibian Minister quits after corruption conviction

It is not common to read of a high court finding a government minister guilty of corruption but, this week, what might be unthinkable in many countries came to pass in Namibia. The Minister of Education, Arts and Culture was convicted under anti-corruption laws for actions taken when she was still a district Governor. Katrina Hanse-Himarwe has since resigned, getting in first as it became clear that President Hage Geingob planned to dismiss her.

Read judgment

When Namibia’s Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Katrina Hanse-Himarwe, removed certain people from the list of those in line for new government houses and replaced them with nominees of her own, the Anti-Corruption Commission took note.

Read more