27 hc 293 22nd november 1921 in bna c8727 some of

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27. H.C. 293 (22nd November 1921) in BNA C/8/727. Some of these cases have been discussed in a different context in "Infanticide in Botswana: A footnote to Schapera" 1990 Journal of African Law 159-162. 28. The Court having found that she did not take part in the murder and 'is said to have been crying while it was taking place'. pp.2-3. 29. Per MacGregor President of the Combined Court p.2 'I have never been able to ascertain for certain why both children were destroyed, the only explanation forthcoming being that the relations could not decide which to preserve', he wrote. 30. H.C. 106 (27th April 1923) in BNA C/8727, Rex v. Ramhilo alias Mafeking, in BNA C/8/729 (died in prison). Cf R. v. Xaru, Criminal Case No.3 of 1930 in BNA C/7/706. The accused killed her newly born baby who was born deformed. At her trial she told the court 'I do not think it wrong to kill a child when it is deformed'. She was acquitted. The judgment/report is s~ scanty that it is not clear on what ground she was acquitted. 31. 'In transmitting the record I desire on behalf of the Court to recommend the prisoners to mercy. There is no doubt at all about their guilt, indeed it is not denied, but they are wild bushmen subject to no sort of law tribal or other; they do not cultivate, they own no cattle or stock of any kind and have no settled home. The advent of a child therefore while the mother was still suckling another one must have been a problem to them. It is said that it is usual with them to do away with such children at birth and I have no doubt that it is so in view of their mode of living, as one does not see how they could reasonably expect to keep them alive'. p.1 in Rex v. Case alias Saul; BNA H.C. 106 supra. 32. Because 'while in prison they just pine and die unless they are given special food ...' p.2. 33. (1946) in BNA C/I0/769. 34. Letter from Sir Evelyn Baring H.C. No. 7965 of 25th March 1946 in BNA C/lO/769. 'I am never quite happy in my own mind about apying the full rigour of our law to a nomadic or primitive savage'. 35. Letter from Lt. Co!. Forsyth Thompson to the High Commissioner No. 8619/2 II of 15th April 1946 in BNA C/I0/769. 36. Lt. Co!. Forsyth Thompson continued 'The only law which these primitive people understnad is an eye for an eye, and if one kills another without provocation he does not expect mercy if found out. In this case a defenceless child was killed for no reason that could in this man's community be accepted as an adequate reason; if his sentence were commuted it would soon become known and the Bushman's and Mosarwa's respect for our "law" would deteriorate' He was executed on 18th May 1946. 37. Lt Co!. Forsyth Thompson took into account the fact that two years earlier Basarwa killed two R.A.F. officers whose aeroplane crashed in the territory. They were acquitted on a technicality-R. v. Twaitwai Molefe and Ors (1944) in BNA C/lO/769.

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