|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
Justice Zibani Makhwade of Lobatse High Court has ordered Botswana Network on Law, Ethics and HIV/AIDS (BONELA) to file further particularities in a case in which homosexuals and lesbians are challenging sections of the law outlawing their sexual orientation. BONELA has been ordered to file its affidavits by May 13th.
Gays and lesbians in Botswana have gone to court to challenge the legality of Section 164 of the Penal Code that criminalises same sex relationships. The Attorney General is cited as the first respondent in the court application.
One of the applicants in the case, 29-year-old Caine Youngman says in his affidavit that he has never been able to freely express his sexuality because of the law that criminalises same sex relationships.
He said that the offence referred to as ‘carnal knowledge against the order of nature’ as well as social attitudes which stigmatise and discriminate against people with his sexual orientation in Botswana has forced him to cross the border into South Africa where his sexuality is recognised and protected by the law.