The customary court of appeal has called on Ramotswa residents to stop snatching each others spouses to avoid being bewitched.
Kgosi Kgabosetso Mosielele issued the warning when presiding over several cases of marriage wrecking at Bamalete main kgotla in Ramotswa last Thursday.
“As you can see, marriage wrecking is very common in Ramotswa. Please leave other women’s husbands alone. People are dying mysteriously because of these matters. Sometimes one just collapses and instantly die,” Mosielele added.
He said in one of the sad cases of adultery gone wrong, a marriage wrecker has been admitted in hospital with a strange mental condition and is now flashing her private parts for the public to see.
“Extra marital affairs with a married spouse is a dangerous game, keep away from it.”
Mosielele, alongside court president, Kgosi Sello Mothibe Linchwe and Kgosi Sedie P. Sedie continuously advised women and some men who appeared before them over the illicit affairs charges to fight the temptation of illicit love affairs as they always end up hurting everyone involved.
“Stay away from this man’s household. If you happen to visit him, look the other way and never allow your eyes to settle on his wife. If possible keep your eyes closed,” Kgosi Linchwe advised a pensioner whose initial fine to pay eight cattle for snatching another elderly man’s wife was dropped.
The man had pleaded that he cannot not afford the eight cows because he did not have any and was only a temporary worker under government’s drought relief programme, Ipelegeng.
Due to his advanced age, the wife snatcher could not be whipped either. “We are forgiving you, but be warned to keep away from other people’s wives,” Linchwe added.
Nonetheless, the customary court of appeal upheld other judgments of lower courts which had fined some of the cheaters to pay up, in monetary terms or cattle.
One of the alleged says she intends to appeal her case through the High Court with the hope that a recent high court ruling which suggested that an adulterous claim was not constitutional, will bail her out.
However, local attorney, Uyapo Ndadi explained that, Justice Lot Moroka’s ruling did not render adultery charges unlawful at customary court level.
“When an appeal is to be made from the customary court, the High Court will judge the case according to the law which was used to deal with it. What people need to understand is that Moroka was dealing with common law and therefore if a similar case is brought directly to the High Court, then the common law will apply, but a customary court case is dealt with through customary law,” Ndadi explained.
When dealing with a marriage wrecking case around May this year, Moroka ruled that “It would be tragic for any court dealing with the issues of adultery and marital infidelity to look at the problem wearing 18th century goggles. If court does not step out of the capsule of time which the law books have become and look at contemporary Botswana, the court will get it completely wrong.”
Moroka’s point was that the obligation to be faithful belongs to the spouses and not the third party and that adultery happens between consenting partners.