Office of the President (OP)
RE: Presidential Pardon
07/06/12

The Office of the President wishes to respond to recent media reports surrounding the Presidential pardon granted to three members of the BDF who were convicted of killing John Kalafatis.

Whilst it is not in dispute that the President acted within the confines of the law and in exercise of the powers vested in him by the Constitution, which everyone seems to be aware of, it would appear there are some quarters who seek to challenge the decision taken by the President in this matter. The motivation of this is clearly to try to discredit the government and the President.

We wish to remind those concerned that HE the President has so far pardoned 2008 prisoners, 6 of whom had been convicted of murder. It is therefore not the first time that His Excellency exercises the powers vested in him by the Constitution under Section 53.

Previously, before President Khama took office, the prerogative of mercy had been exercised in accordance with Section 53 of our Constitution where on at least two occasions members of the security forces were pardoned after being convicted of murder. This was done following a thorough assessment of the plea for clemency as presented by those representing the convicted persons.

The present case was subjected to a similar process. It is therefore extremely disturbing that the media and some members of the public want to create the impression that the President just woke up one day and decided to grant pardon to the three convicted men when in actual fact a proper assessment was done and due process of law followed.

The unjustified sensationalism created by these reports would not be there had those concerned taken the liberty to explain to those they aim to misinform that the three convicts have been granted a conditional pardon as opposed to a free one. That way they would have realized that the conditions attached to the pardon granted are a result of a careful and thorough assessment that was made prior to the pardon being granted.

It is regrettable that all too often the media in their agenda to discredit President Khama conveniently fail to seek the facts and inevitably end up embarrassing themselves by misinforming the public.

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