In the first case of its kind in Botswana, a woman has successfully sued another woman for publicly revealing her HIV status.
The High Court in Lobatse, a city in the southeast, has ruled that Sadi Nokane pay Obakeng Madubela US$1,000 in damages for violating Madubela’s right to privacy. Around 55 percent of the population live on two dollars per day.
Madubela, 35, testified that on two separate occasions Nokane had approached her and, within earshot of a number of people, including several mutual friends, had made derogatory remarks about her HIV status.
Justice David Newman ruled that publicizing Madubela’s confidential medical information had caused intentional distress and had negatively affected her personal and business relationships.
However, the judge threw out a case of defamation because it had not been filed within the prescribed period and Madubela was awarded significantly less than the $7,125 she had originally claimed.