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Botswana hangs two men who murdered women, drawing mixed reaction on social media

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Botswana on Monday hanged two men convicted of murdering two women after they lost their appeals in the High Court of Appeal

A hangman’s noose at South Africa’s Kgosi Mampuru Correctional Centre gallows museum. Capital punishment is abolished in South Africa. File picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

TWO MEN convicted of murder were hanged in Botswana on Monay.

Botswana Prison Service said Wedu Mosalagae, 33, of Letlhakane village, and Kutlo Setima, 29, of Ghanzi, were hanged at Gaborone Central Prison on Monday.

“Mosalagae was committed to death by Francistown High Court on the 8th August 2019, for the murder of Ms Barobi Rampape on the 24th November 2012 at Nkoshe Ward at Letlhakane, while Setima was committed to death by the High Court of Botswana at Lobatse on the 24th May 2019 for the murder of Ms Tsone Kosi of Kgaphamadi ward, Ghanzi.

“They both lost their appeals to the High Court of Appeal on the 5th August 2020,” assistant commissioner Wamorena Ramolefhe said in a statement.

The executions drew a mixed reaction on social media platforms. The majority of respondents were in favour of the execution and questioned why it had taken so long to hang the pair. There were also those who condemned the executions.

The media statement placed in BWGovernment’s Facebook account drew more than 3,500 comments and more than 1,000 shares.

“Good going, keep it up,” read one comment.

Another read: “RIP guys, we will not miss you though. And for the hangman, you are in the book of most sinner my man.”

Those opposed to the execution said hanging people was not a solution to crime.

“All I know is no matter how much you will hang them, the more they will kill. Keep hanging and you’ll realise this… Death sentence doesn’t change anything,” read one comment.

“The day I react with a ‘heart’ on a post saying people have been murdered/killed is the day that I would have sold my soul. When you celebrate someone’s death it means you are no better than the criminals,” read another comment.

In 2016, a former hangman told publication Mmegi Online about his experience of executions in Botswana.

The former prison warder, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he had participated in seven executions.

“…sometimes instructed to release the trap door handle. The officer in charge of the prison selects an execution team comprising of male and female warders.

“The person who opens the trap door can be the most senior officer or any other officer of the team,” he told the publication.

He said during the countdown towards execution, the condemned inmates’ last supper is their choice of favourite dishes. The inmates are offered an opportunity to make a will that will later be handed over to family members.

On the day of execution, the inmates are led to the execution chamber with a black hood covering their face. After the noose is tied around their neck, the trap doors are opened and the prisoners struggle briefly until their final breath.

The body is then cleaned by a coroner from within the department and placed in a decent coffin for burial by the warders.

The warders dig the grave, not the prisoners, and they also perform the burial.

Capital punishment in Botswana is usually issued for murder under aggravating circumstances and is carried out by hanging.

Rights group Amnesty International said in November 2020 that four people had been hanged since President Mokgweetsi Masisi was inaugurated in November 2019.

African News Agency