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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue
Title:Mogotse's goats and other cases before the Gaberones Magistrate in 1908
Author:Bennett, Bruce S.
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Geographic term:Botswana
criminal courts
social life
colonial history
Abstract:This article is based on a review of the criminal cases in a single colonial court in the Bechuanaland Protectorate (now Botswana) in 1908. It examines the cases that passed through the court of the Assistant Commissioner for the Southern Protectorate and Gaberones Magistrate in that year. Its aim is both to study the realities of the colonial judicial system and to provide a few glimpses of life in 1908 as it was captured in what amount to some accidental snapshots. The laws and their implementation reflect in many cases the imposition of the new colonial order, although their impact was still limited for many Africans. Despite the colonial values of the system, within its limits the magistrates took remarkable care to deal with particular cases justly, often following an investigative style. They were assisted in this by the low volume of cases (due to the fact that most cases were dealth with by chiefs in 'kgotla', the traditional system) and by their often considerable local experience. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]