BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Africa
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Wednesday, 2 May, 2001, 09:42 GMT 10:42 UK
Bosch film row
The convicted woman
Mariette Bosch always maintained her innocence
The head of Botswana's television news, Chris Bishop, has resigned, after the government refused to allow the airing of a documentary on the Mariette Bosch murder case and her subsequent execution.

Bosch, a South African, was hanged in Gaborone a month ago for murdering her best friend.

She subsequently married her friend's husband, with the trial being dubbed "Botswana's white mischief" after the famous book about love betrayal in colonial Kenya.

As the first white person and only the fourth woman to be hanged in Botswana since independence, her case attracted international attention.

Censorship

The government say they could not allow the Bosch documentary to be broadcast on the grounds it could have led to litigation against them, but controversy surrounds the circumstances of the hanging.

President Festus Mogae
President Festus Mogae refused to grant clemency
Bosch's family only found out that she had been hanged the day afterwards, hearing about it on the radio whilst driving to prison to visit her.

Speaking to the South African news agency, Mr Bishop complained at government attempts to control broadcasts.

Botswana's media enjoys a great deal of freedom and debate has continued in the press and on radio over how she died and on whether the death penalty should be abolished.

Control

Mr Bishop said that he had been told after the documentary was halted that some form of control was being planned for the news department which he believed would have amounted to censorship.

"Bosch brought out what had been there all along," said Mr Bishop.

"There has been previous harassment and interference."

"If the government wants to run BTV as a government information service, what is the point of having journalists working there?"

The director of Information and Broadcasting, Andrew Sesinyi, is reported to have denied knowledge of moves to control the news at BTV.

Marietta Bosch was executed in Botswana on 31 March.

She was convicted in December 1999 for the murder of her best friend, Maria Wolmarans and married her husband, Tienie, a year after the killing.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

02 Apr 01 | Africa
Love-triangle murderer hanged
30 Jan 01 | Africa
South African woman to hang
18 Jan 01 | Africa
'White Mischief' trial begins
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Botswana
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories