oa Botswana Notes & Records - The duty to bury

Volume 21, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0525-5090



When, on 18th August 1987, a Motlokwa man named Barnabus Bogatsu died, a drama began. His brother, Seakaiwa and his father, Wetshoemang Bogatsu, stood against the deceased's widow, Matlhodi Bogatsu, in a struggle over the right to bury the deceased. The case commanded wide public attention with full coverage in local newspapers. The purpose of this article is to help the reader, both lawyer and layman, understand why such a common thing as death and burial should have become so controversial in recent years. To do so I will examine: (1) customary law and its juxtaposition to imported common law; (2) review the decision in Bogatsu's case and; (3) make proposals as to the future resolution of similar cases.

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