Defamation Laws In Botswana

Slander and libel laws in Botswana

As pointed out by Minnie (2005), “Both criminal and civil laws exist in Botswana. The former are in principle acceptable, as long as onerous financial rewards for damages that threaten the existence of the media are not made. Criminal charges are laid by the state (not a private person) against a journalist or person, and, if found guilty, journalists can be fined and/or jailed. They also acquire for criminal record.”

Sections 90, 91 and 93 of the Botswana’s Penal Code contain various provisions on “insult” laws that limit public scrutiny of officials. For instance, Article 93 of the Botswana’s Penal Code states that:
“Section 93 (1) Any person who in a public place or at a public gathering uses abusive, obscene or insulting language in relation to the President, any other member of the National Assembly or any public officer is guilty of an offense and liable to a fine not exceeding P400”

Sections 192 up to 199 of the Botswana’s Penal Code describe criminal defamation. Penalty to be imposed shall be punishable with imprisonment not exceeding two years, or with a fine or both, in accordance to Section 33 of the same Penal Code.