PROFESSOR GOOD LOSES BOTSWANA DEPORTATION APPEAL
29 July 2005
Australian Professor Kenneth Good, who was deported from Botswana last
month as a 'threat to national security,' over his criticism of Botswana's democracy and his correspondence with Survival, lost his
appeal in the Botswana courts on July 27.
Professor Good, who has taught political science at the University of
Botswana for fifteen years, was deported from the country on 31 May, and
is now in London. He had written and spoken against the evictions of
Bushmen from their ancestral homes in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve
In a recent statement Good said, 'My deportation is another sign that the government of Botswana is heading in an increasingly
autocratic direction. It is a defeat for democracy and free speech.'
Botswana's President Mogae said on BBC TV's Newsnight programme on
Monday, '[Professor Good] is a rogue and a vagabond, he's not a gentleman`. I am determined to keep him out of this country.'
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
DEPORTED 'FOR LINKS WITH SURVIVAL'
17 June 2005
Botswana's President Mogae has said that he decided to deport
Australian Professor Ken Good as a 'threat to national security'
over his links with Survival International.
President Mogae described the international concern over the
Professor's deportation as a 'big hullabaloo over the deportation
of a single, solitary white man'.
The President has falsely alleged that Good and Survival's
Director Stephen Corry have 'written numerous documents in which
they described Botswana's diamonds as blood diamonds.'
Professor Good, who had worked at Botswana University for fifteen
years before his deportation, had both his computers stolen in
separate incidents within ten days of each other.
The Botswana newspaper Mmegi reported this week that Mr Mogae
ended a recent press conference by 'volunteering information on a
question nobody had asked, [and] denying that his operatives might
have broken into Good's house and stolen his computer.'
In a statement today Professor Good said, 'I have never described
Botswana's diamonds as 'blood diamonds', nor have I ever 'teamed
up' with Survival International to sabotage Botswana's 'diamonds
for development' campaign. I have certainly exchanged
correspondence with Survival, as I have with a huge number of
academics, journalists, and other NGOs. The only way Mr Mogae
would know of my email correspondence is if the government had
seen the contents of my computers.'
SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
For more information contact
Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email email@example.com
GOVERNMENT CRITIC TO BE DEPORTED
A professor who has been a fierce critic of the lack of democracy in Botswana
is to be deported. Professor Ken Good lost his appeal against deportation
earlier today, and was taken from the court by plain-clothes police.
Professor Good, an Australian who has taught political science at Botswana
University for 15 years, criticized the way Presidents in Botswana are
appointed by their predecessor rather than directly elected in a paper earlier
Shortly before he was due to present the paper, President Mogae issued a
deportation order. Good appealed, but today learnt that he had lost his
appeal. The government has labeled the professor ‘a threat to national
security', but has never justified this statement.
Professor Good has also been a strong critic of the government's policy of
forcibly relocating Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, a policy
he called ‘repressive'. In a recent paper he said, ‘Removal, relocation,
and dispossession have been their [the Bushmen's] repeated experiences...
‘The subordination of the San [Bushmen] was carried though by the rising
Tswana ruling elite, and the weakness of democracy subsequently... has
facilitated its continuance... Botswana's democracy will remain dysfunctional
as long as their poverty endures.'
INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE
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Jo Woodman on 020 7687 8732 or
Court Defers Ruling in
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
February 25, 2005
Posted to the web February 25, 2005
Professor Kenneth Good's
well-wishers left the High Court with mixed feelings after Justice Stanley
Sapire, deferred judgement on the interdiction he was awarded last Saturday.
The interdiction ordered a stay of
execution of the 48-hour deportation order he was served with last Friday till
March 7. The ruling to be delivered on Monday by Sapire will determine whether
the injunction granted Good by Justice Moatlhodi Marumo is proper. The state
maintains that a presidential decree has been served on Good and that it
should be effected without further delays. The attorneys representing the
state fiercely argued that the court does not have the jurisdiction to
challenge a presidential decree. Good's lawyers countered that the court was
right in granting the order allowing Good to stay in the country until his
case is heard on March 7. The head of Good's legal team Dick Bayford argued
that the court should be cognisant of the fact that Good was not served with a
presidential decree, but an immigration notice, which stated that he had been
declared a prohibited immigrant by the president. Hence there was no means of
verification on whether the deportation was indeed a presidential decree,
since the decree was not attached. Bayford said that even though the President
is not expected to give reasons for deporting an immigrant, logic suggests
that Good should have been served with the decree. He said the state should
have availed a confirmatory affidavit from the President showing that he
received information from a reliable source before issuing the deportation
order. Bayford added that the presidential decree was not judicially served.
He said failure by the state to annex the presidential decree when serving
Good, left room for speculation leading to the conclusion that Good is being
deported for openly expressing his critical political views of government. He
attempted to strengthen his argument by telling the court that Good has been
in the country for 15 years during which he has proven to be a responsible
resident who abides by the laws of the country. He asked why the government
has suddenly decided to deport Good.
Justice Sapire however caught
Bayford off-guard, by asking when Good started his criticism of the country's
political system. He sought to know why the government would choose to deport
him now, if he has been engaged in criticism of the country's political system
for the past 15 years.
Bayford, answered that Good's
criticism of the government only intensified in November.
He said that if the court accepts
the application of the state to quash the interdiction, it would be infringing
on Good's fundamental rights of freedom of speech, having reached a conclusion
that he is being deported for his political views.
The Deputy Attorney General
Abraham Keetshabe responded by saying that the President had exercised
executive powers, which allow him to act on his own without advice from anyone.
He said that the court does not have the jurisdiction to challenge the
President's decision. He dismissed arguments advanced by Good's lawyers,
saying that under the constitution, foreigners are not immune to expulsion
from Botswana. He told the court that foreigners who stay in Botswana do so at
the pleasure of the country. He stressed that due to lack of information, the
court was seriously misled in granting a stay of execution. He told the court
to redress and declare the court order null and void, and effect the
presidential decree declaring Good a prohibited immigrant. He said it is not
in the interest of the court to seek the source of information on presidential
A Flawed Diamond?
Business Day (Johannesburg)
February 25, 2005
Posted to the web February 25, 2005
WHEN President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe deports foreign aid workers who dare question his totalitarian
rule, the outside world protests for a while but the clamour soon dies down. Intolerance of dissent is expected of Mad Bob after years of increasingly despotic
But when Botswanan President Festus Mogae orders the expulsion of a respected University of Botswana academic for penning a paper that is mildly critical of the ruling
party, the reaction from the outside world must be more forceful and prolonged. Mogae is, after all, president of one of Africa's shining
lights, the example of economic and political stability that is so often held up for the rest of the continent to marvel at and
Botswana is soon to celebrate 40 years of democracy since gaining independence from
Britain, and Mogae's Botswana Democratic Party has retained power through regular elections from the start. The Oxford-educated president governs a country with the highest per capita income in the region and which is relatively ethnically homogenous and politically
stable. He has little reason to feel insecure, so why the high-handed action?
It is not as if political analyst Prof Kenneth Good's criticisms were excessive - far more forthright comment on the South African government's running of the country is published in this newspaper every day, some of it written by
academics. Government may get hot under the collar at perceived slights, but it responds through verbal, not
Good was given two days to leave Botswana after co-authoring a paper - intended for delivery at the university this week -
titled, Presidential Succession in Botswana: No Model for Africa.
The paper questioned the way Mogae handpicked Lt-Gen Ian Khama to be his
successor, and criticised a number of other perceived antidemocratic tendencies among the ruling party's
leadership. But it contained nothing that would raise eyebrows in any but the most autocratic state.
That is why overreacting in this way was such a serious miscalculation on Mogae's part. A spat that would otherwise have fizzled out will now inevitably prompt a thorough inspection of Botswana's recent track
record. Has its treatment of the San people really been as fair as it claims? Have the diamond revenues that make up 80% of the country's budget really been distributed for the benefit of all? Perhaps the jewel in Southern Africa's crown is not so flawless after all.
Hero's Welcome As Good Delivers
Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)
February 24, 2005
Posted to the web February 24, 2005
Professor Kenneth Good, University
of Botswana's political science lecturer who was declared a prohibited
immigrant last Friday, delivered his paper on presidential succession in
Botswana to a packed audience yesterday afternoon. Before Good appeared at the
University of Botswana lecture hall, there was anxiety whether he would make
it after spending the morning at the Lobatse High Court where he is fighting
His lawyers successfully applied
for his case to be postponed to today. With speculation that he was declared a
prohibited immigrant because of the paper he co-authored with fellow academic
Dr Ian Taylor, the crowd that turned out for the seminar was so huge that the
event had to be moved to a bigger lecture hall. By 2pm it was obvious that the
original venue - Room 240/285 - was too small for the crowd attending a
lecture meant to start two hours later.
Interestingly, there were a good
number of MPs, politicians across the political divide, lecturers and
students. When Good walked into the fully packed lecture hall, he was given a
hero's welcome, mostly by his students.
The students had definitely
reached their conclusion about the reasons behind Good's deportation order -
his criticism of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and government.
The public has been left to speculate since the reasons for the deportation
order have not been given.
The students and for most part the
crowd at the seminar shared sentiments that the deportation is unfair and
proves that "Botswana is moving towards authoritarianism". Good
started his presentation by declaring that he is not a member of any political
party in Botswana or anywhere else. He said he is a believer in criticism and
quoted other critics who said, "silence is a threat to democracy".
He said there is no model for transition in Botswana, adding that it is too
flawed and complicated. He said problems in Botswana's democracy are shown by
a number of factors which include the historical and cultural background of
the country. He explained that wealth and power co-exist in a culturally
legitimate inter-relationship in Botswana. He added that leadership in the
country has been associated with wealth. He said colonial masters were
comfortable leaving power in the then newly formed Botswana Democratic Party (BDP),
with the belief that wealth shows responsibility.
"It is important that Tswana
elites are historically distinctive from most others in Africa in their direct
engagement in production, and in their being individual accumulators of wealth
before-as well as during-their succession to high," Good and Taylor said
in their paper. The two academics said the constitutional and political power
is highly centralised on the executive. The paper attacked the founding
president, the late Sir Seretse Khama, saying he did not like democracy, as he
changed the constitution to suit his interests.
They said that when former
president, Ketumile Masire lost elections twice in Kanye, Khama changed the
constitution to get him to Parliament. The paper pointed out that BDP
presidents have always manipulated the country's constitution to best suit
their personal interests.
They accuse President Festus Mogae
of failing to solve factionalism in the BDP and conclusions have been reached
that he manipulated the constitution and favoured the inexperienced Vice
President Ian Khama, by getting him elected into office, so that he could help
him with the party problems.
Good said the country is
definitely marching towards authoritarianism and automatic succession is out-
dated and is not good for the people. After the presentation, the first to ask
a question was the executive secretary of the BDP Dr.Comma Serema. He tried to
discredit Good's presentation on the basis that his research is based on media
reports, which are not always a true reflection of the real situation. Good
replied that he relied on other sources and not just newspaper reports alone.
Serema however met a lot of criticism from Good's supporters.
One person asked Good why the
paper he presented is not balanced. He sought to know why the presentation
lacked academic evidence, including the advantages and disadvantages of
However, all the students seemed
in agreement that the country was moving towards authoritarianism.
One student termed the possible
deportation of Good as a threat to freedom of expression. She said if the
trend continues, the future of social scientists in the country is threatened
because they will not engage in free criticism of government in fear of
"This is not a good platform
for political scientists of tomorrow," she said.
A good number of students who
stood up to ask questions were in support of Good and Taylor's arguments.
DOWN ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH -
EMINENT ACADEMIC TO BE EXPELLED FROM BOTSWANA
23 February 2005
Kenneth Good, professor of political science studies at the
University of Botswana for 15 years, has been ordered to leave
Botswana. Late last Friday three men arrived at his home with
handcuffs to inform him he had been declared a prohibited
immigrant and had 48 hours to leave the country. Professor Good's
legal team went to the high court on Saturday and obtained a stay
of execution from a judge, who ordered him to appear before the
court on 7 March. Duma Boko, an attorney on Good's legal team, has
received a death threat, reportedly from Botswana's intelligence
service. Dr Boko is a well-known human rights attorney who is
acting for the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari, whose case against
the government for evicting them from their land is being heard in
the high court now.
Professor Good is due to present a paper he co-authored entitled
'Presidential succession in Botswana: no model for Africa' at the
university today. The paper is a critique of what the authors see
as growing autocracy in the so-called 'model for Africa'. It is
believed the paper may have been leaked to the president, who then
ordered the deportation.
Professor Good is a noted academic who has not shied away from
commentating on controversial government polices. He has written
about the evictions of the Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game
Reserve, and questioned Botswana's reputation as Africa's 'shining
light of democracy'.
Stephen Corry, director of Survival, said today, 'This is a dark
day for democracy in Botswana. The country's international
reputation can only be further tarnished by this blatant attempt
to restrict the freedom of speech of a well-respected, independent
academic. Those who still believe that Botswana is a beacon of
democracy on the continent must surely question this government,
which is becoming increasingly authoritarian and intolerant of any
dissent or criticism.'
Source: SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELEASE
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