News Brief

Botswana is Considering Overturning the Decision to Decriminalize Homosexuality

The Attorney General is challenging the court ruling citing that the presiding judges made an error of law.

Last month, Botswana's High Court ruled that sections 164 and 167 of the country's Penal Code were unconstitutional after they heard the case of a student with the advocacy group LEGABIBO admitted as a friend of the court. The colonial-era laws, which implicitly criminalize homosexuality, saw a person in contravention of them being sentenced to up to seven years in prison for "carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature."


Attorney General Abraham Keetshabe is challenging the court's June 11th ruling after reading the judgement as he feels that the presiding Judges Tafa, Leburu and Dube did not arrive at the correct conclusion in terms of the law. Keetshabe said, "I have thoroughly read the 132-page-long judgment and I am of the view that the High Court erred in arriving at this conclusion," and went on to add that he would be appealing the decision at the Court of Appeal, according to the BBC.

What was a landmark ruling and victory for Botswana's LGBT community, especially after Kenya's High Court made the decision to maintain the criminal status of homosexuality in May, now seems to be in jeopardy once again. After coming to a unanimous decision, the presiding judges responded by saying that, "Sexual orientation is not a fashion statement. It's an important attribute of one's personality. All people are entitled to autonomy over their sexual expression."

Keetshabe has not yet revealed any further details about his intention to appeal the ruling.


popular

South Africa Makes History with its First Ever Healthcare Facility for Transgender People

The University of the Witwatersrand's Reproductive Health Institute is creating a safe space for transgender people seeking healthcare.

South Africa has made history after it opened the doors to its first dedicated healthcare facility for transgender people. According to eNCA, the Reproductive Health Institute, which has been set up by the prestigious University of the Witwatersrand, wants to create a safe space for transgender South Africans by removing the stigma and prejudice they often face while trying to access healthcare in the country. It is a major stride against the backdrop of a continent that generally still treats members of the LGBT community as second-class citizens.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Filippo Monteforte/AFP via Getty Images)

The World Congress of Families is Expanding its Homophobic Agenda into West Africa

The far-right organization recently held a regional conference in Accra.

Last year, Ghanaians took to the streets to protest against laws criminalizing homosexuality. The protests were primarily in response to a 72-page report published by the Human Rights Watch which detailed how violence towards members of the LGBT community by mobs or their own family members was on the rise. Scores of protesters insisted that the country's Penal Code was not only a dated colonial-era relic but that it led to LGBT Ghanaians being treated as second-class citizens without basic human rights. While countries such as Botswana and Angola made huge strides this year and decriminalized homosexuality, Ghana's discriminatory laws have remained and lives continue to be affected because of it.

On November 1st, the World Congress of Families (WCF), a far-right organization that has been pegged a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, hosted a regional conference in Accra, Ghana. The two-day gathering included Ghana's political and religious leaders who subscribe to the conservative "pro-family" and "natural law" ideologies which condemn homosexuality, Islam, abortion and other reproductive health rights. There is increasing concern among members of the LGBT community, activists and allies, that LGBT people will experience even more targeted violence not only in Ghana but other African countries where homosexuality has still not been decriminalized.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

Watch the Music Video for Rema's New Single 'Lady'

Check out the buzzing Nigerian singer's latest.

Nigerian artist Rema shares the music video for his latest single "Lady" from his new EP Bad Commando.

The music video, directed by Tadas Vanagas also features choreography from Sophia, which is performed throughout the video by a talented dancer who takes the spotlight. Rema appears later in the video, dressed in trendy streetwear as his love interest ties him up and serenades him. The song itself is an airy with house-inspired production from Altims. It's made up of harmonies that Rema deliveries mostly in pidgin. It was one of our Best Nigerian Songs of the Month for October.

Keep reading... Show less
popular

The 25 Essential Wizkid Songs

All of Wizkid's biggest hits to date, including the Nigerian Starboy's massive singles and notable features. Updated in 2019.

Wizkid is one of the biggest artist coming out of Africa right now.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.