Botswana at the weekend hanged a 28-year-old man following the murder of his girlfriend and her son in 2010, its first execution after a two-year hiatus, a prison official said Monday. The execution of Joseph Tselayarona execution follows President Ian Khama’s remarks few weeks ago that he supports the death penalty. The country’s position has been criticized by human rights monitors and the European Union.
The country last hanged a convict, a 59-year-old man, in May 2016. Tselayarona was hanged after a court last year sentenced him to 20 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend and handed him a death penalty for the murder of the son. Prison services confirmed the execution took place on Saturday at Gaborone Maximum Prison.
Khama said the death penalty remains a solution to curb the growing incidents of murder that have overwhelmed the country in recent years. “We want to save lives of our people and we cannot live in a country with others who choose to kill our innocent people,” President Khama was quoted as saying by the independent weekly Monitor.
The death penalty in Botswana has been enforced since independence in 1966. According to rights group Amnesty, executions are often undertaken without prior notice with even family members of the condemned notified only after the execution.