- Australian Professor Kenneth Good, who was deported from Botswana last month as a "threat to national security" over his criticism of Botswana's democracy, suffered another setback this week when the Court of Appeal dismissed his case against deportation.
Court of Appeal Judge President Patrick Tebbutt read the judgment on Wednesday afternoon, which affirmed the ruling of Botswana's Lobatse High Court of 31 May. The High Court had found the declaration of Mr Good as Prohibited Immigrant, lawful thus opening the way for the state to deport him.
Judge Tebutt said that the Court of Appeal found that Botswana President Festus Mogae had not acted irrationally in declaring Mr Good a Prohibited Immigrant. He stated that there was no procedural impropriety in the declaration. The Court of Appeal dismissed arguments advanced by Mr Good's lawyers that sections of Botswana's Immigration Act are violating the Constitution.
Professor Good's legal team sought an order from the Court of Appeal, setting aside the decision taken personally by President Mogae on 18 February declaring the University of Botswana lecturer an undesirable inhabitant of or visitor to Botswana. The lawyers argued that the President acted "capriciously and irrationally," and that he failed to apply his mind and therefore the declaration should be declared a nullity.
Mr Good's team was also challenging the constitutionality of the declaration. They argued that sections of the Immigration Act violate Sections 3 and 18 of the Constitution of Botswana. They said the High Court erred and misdirected itself in finding that these sections of the Immigration Act were not in conflict with the Constitution.
The Australian professor was declared a Prohibited Immigrant on 18 February, and was given 48 hours to leave the country. But his attorneys Dick Bayford, Duma Boko and Joao Salbany made an urgent application to the High Court for a stay of execution and filed a case against the deportation. But he ultimately lost the case on 31 May and was shipped out of the country the same day by the state.
The political science lecturer had previously criticised the state of democracy in Botswana, in particular the way President Mogae has chosen his Vice-President and probable successor. Mr Good also defended the plight of the San indigenous people in a highly profiled case where the government has expelled these traditional hunters and gatherers from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.
After his deportation two months ago, Mr Good has fought to have the presidential order and the High Court verdict checked. In a recent statement Mr 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."
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