Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Tribal Admnistration
Tribal Admistration Frequently Asked Questions

1.How many Customary Courts have been established across Botswana?

  • There are currently 429 customary courts in the country

2.Where do Customary Courts derive their mandate?

  • Customary Courts Act

3.Where do Dikgosi derive their powers?

  • Bogosi Act

4.What determines the jurisdiction of a Customary Court?

  • Court Warrants

5.What is the hierarchy of Bogosi?

  • Kgosi
  • Kgosana

6.What kinds of cases are tried at Customary Courts?

  • Criminal cases excluding murder, rape
  • Civil cases

7.Are attorneys or lawyers allowed to represent defendants during trials?

  • Attorneys are not allowed in customary courts during trial.

8.What happens when one wants to be represented by an attorney?

  • Upon presentation of a letter from an attorney, as well as approval by the Customary Court of Appeal, the case is then transferred to the magistrate court.

9.How does one lodge an appeal against a judgement of a particular Customary Court?

  • An appellant shall present grounds of appeal within thirty (30) days from the date of judgement before a customary court that tried his or her case. The case is then heard by a higher customary court.

10.What determines the establishment of a Customary Court?

  • Population threshold, crime statistics, as well as distance from nearest customary court.

11.How does one become a Kgosi of a particular tribe?

  • Birth right
  • Election


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