Passion Killings: A Botswana Society Report


Report prepared by: Dr Tsayang (UB, Member of the Executive Committee and Coordinator of the Event), Prof. Sheldon Weeks (Hon. Secretary of the Society and Co-organizer of the Event), & Mrs Nonofho Mathibidi Ndobochani (National Museum, Assistant Secretary of the Society and co-organizer of the event)

1.0 Introduction

The Botswana Society, in partnership with the National Museum, organized a panel discussion on the topical issue of ‘passion killings’, to facilitate exchange of ideas between professionals on this issue of national concern. The discussion, which received a good audience, was held on the 18th May 2006 at the National Museum's Little Theatre. The panelists were Mr Logong Raditlhokwa (Social Work University of Botswana), Mr Bongi Radipati (Law UB), Ms Kaboyaone Hiri-Khudu (Social Work UB), Ms Keletso Makgekgenene (Women’s Affairs Department, Government of Botswana), Mr Rantefe Mothebe (a member of public). The discussion was chaired by Dr. Godisang Mookodi (Sociology UB).

2.0 Discussion

Generally, issues discussed centred around the fact that ‘passion killing’ or femicide is becoming institutionalized but the level of response to the issue is not equivalent to the challenge. Speakers associated this with family problems, changing values, loss of traditional patriarchy, failure by victims and perpetrators to meet society's expectations, social change that has not attracted with it appropriate interventions, poor management of the transformation that is brought about by globalization, and general loss of our inherited culture as a society.

Discussion of panel members "Passion Killings" panel discussion: the panel members

2.1 Mr. Logang Raditlhokwa (Social Work UB)

Sharing his views on the issue, Raditlhokwa highlighted:


2.2 Mr. Bongi Radipati (Lawyer: Law Department UB)

From the legal point of view, he stated that there are three approaches to the ‘passion killing’ issue. There are the issues of Definition, Justice, and Remedy.

In concluding his argument, Radipati associated the main cause of the problem to lack of communication between victims, victimizers and the society.


2.3 Ms Kaboyaone Hiri-Khudu (Social Work, UB)

Khudu’s main argument was that suicide and ‘passion killings’ are indicators of a range of problems. There are three main causes: individual behavioral problems (mood disorders), individual failure to meet societal expectations, and family problems (diseases, divorces, identity crisis)

She argued that we all suffer from globalization and social change, but there are no interventions and structures in place to manage them. Do we have enough professionals, and are they doing their role effectively? There is need to educate society on the best interventions


2.4 Keletso Makgekgenene (Women’s Affairs Department, Ministry of Home affairs)

She noted that there is need to understand who we are, and how we should respond to social transformation. There are issues of ;


2.5 Mr. Rantefe Mothebe (Elderly member of the public)

Mothebe argued that we are not united in a single culture: we all exist as individuals. He raised the following issues;


2.6 Comments and way forward

Discussion by the audience centered around the following issues;

Generally, discussion centred around the need to strengthen the role of families, and on the roles of politicians and churches in maintaining societal values. The way forward was to call upon these institutions to face up to their responsibility in restoring social values.

panel members facing the audience

"Passion Killings" panel discussion: panel members facing the audience

Last updated 20 March 2008. Converted from MS Word by OpenOffice 2.0, with some modifications.