Dr.Gobotswang leads NGOs call for Majaga to take leave of absence from parliament
Member of Parliament for Sefhare/Ramokgonami, Kesitegile Gobotswang has heaped pressure on the MP for Nata/Gweta, Polson Majaga to step down from parliament while waiting for his defilement court case to finish.
Addressing Parliament on Wednesday, Gobotswang asked Majaga to take a leave of absence until his defilement case was concluded to protect the integrity of the house and also to allow the criminal justice process to freely take its course.
The Umbrella for Democratic Change legislator who had a petition signed by six Non Governmental organisations (NGOS) stated that they fully understood that there is a legal presumption of innocence, and proposed an intermediary approach to the matter, which recognises that in accordance with the criminal justice system and evidentiary burden of proof therein, a person was indeed innocent until proven guilty but Majaga’s continued presence and participation in the current parliamentary sitting, while his matter was before the Court, was an unwanted, and perhaps even problematic exercise of power.
“His presence has the potential to exert intimidation over the victim, her family, her community and to effectively bring her disrepute, and likely, and in many other cases where other perpetrators are involved, it has the potential of intimidating her into silence. This exercise of power as a MP further has the potential to exert intimidation on both the investigating officers, prosecutors, and the judicial officer currently overseeing the matter,” the NGO statement read in part.
“We give credit to the BDP, the party under whose ticket Majaga came to Parliament under for its prompt action of suspending the member from the Party for 60 days as well as the consequent extension of the suspension but that is not enough the NGOS noted through the statement.
Gobotswang said that the action by his party was symbolic of the need to disassociate in order to protect the integrity of the party.
“We posit that this is even much more needed for the national assembly, as the supreme law making and oversight institution. The action by the party should be mirrored by action from the National Assembly, as a demonstration of the seriousness that the house considers issues of Gender Based Violence and Child Sexual Exploitation with,” Gobotswang added.
He pleaded with members of the house to unite behind his position, in a non-partisan manner to ensure that Majaga does not participate in the affairs of the National Assembly until his case has been closed.
Majaga is currently on bail after a case of defilement was laid against him.