LEGABIBO REGISTRATION CASE JUDGMENT SET FOR 14th OCTOBER 2014
(Thuto Rammoge and 19 others vs The Attorney General. Case no MAHGB-000175-13)
The lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and intersex community in Botswana together with their supporters, peers, friends and families upon realising their similarities decided to form an institution. This institution was to be called The Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana, LEGABIBO. LEGABIBO aims to provide opportunities for lesbians, gays and bisexuals, transgender and intersex people to form part of an association which will provide them with information on human rights and advocate for their rights, particularly the right to access to health services amongst others.
The members applied for registration in terms of the Societies Act on the 16 February 2012. On 12 March 2012, the Director of the Department of Civil and National Registration rejected the application stating that Botswana Constitution does not recognise homosexuals and that the objectives of the organisation are contrary to section 7(2) of the Societies Act. LEGABIBO appealed the decision as prescribed by the Societies Act but the appeal was rejected by the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs on the 12th October 2012.
LEGABIBO membership through 20 of its members filed a case at the Gaborone High Courts against the Attorney General on 25th March 2013. The case was to ask the courts to turn over the registrar of societies’ decision to refuse to register LEGABIBO. LEGABIBO is represented by Attorney Justice Unity Dow, a well-known human rights lawyer. The case is supported by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre, SALC and the Botswana Network of Ethics, Law and HIV/AIDS, BONELA.
The matter was argued before Judge Rannowane at the Gaborone High Courts on the 18th March 2014. The Judge then reserved judgment for a later date. The judgment has since been set for 930am on the 14th of October 2014 at the Gaborone High Courts.
Amongst other arguments adavanced for registration of LEGABIBO, Justice Dow raised the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Botswana;
- Section 13 which provides for the protection of freedom of assembly and association;
- Section 12 which provides for the protection of freedom of expression;
- Section 15 which provides for protection from discrimination;
- Section 5 which provides for the right to personal liberty;
- Section 7 which provides for the protection from inhuman treatment.
We therefore invite you to attend the judgment on the said date. For further information, contact Mr Caine Youngman, LEGABIBO at +267-3932516 or at firstname.lastname@example.org