Hardly a week after the announcement that President Ian Khama is suing
the Sunday Standard, the paper has indicated that it also intends to
sue Khama as well as challenge his legitimacy as Botswana's president, writes Oliver Modise in Mmegi.
Khama, through his attorneys Collins Newman and Company, has slapped the paper with a defamation suit, demanding a total of P850,000 in damages. The suit, according to Khama, relates to two stories – one surrounding the killing of suspect John Kalafatis – and another that questions Khama's motives on his clamp down on alcohol consumption in the country.
In its response to Khama's demand, the newspaper has refused to apologise or retract its stories and instead wants to meet Khama face-to-face in court.
In his response letter the paper's lawyer, Dick Bayford, maintains that the story surrounding the killing of Kalafatis in which Khama's name featured was not defamatory.
"The said article was published in good faith. Our client had reason at the time, to believe that it was true and further considered it in the public interest to publish as soon as possible in order to bring to the urgent attention that security agents have become a law unto themselves," reads the letter from Bayford.
The paper is of the view that as a result of the story, there is public debate about the legitimacy of extra-judicial killings in Botswana.Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â
Click here to read the full report, posted on Mmegi's website.