Rights of LGBT Persons

SALC’s programme on the rights of LGBT persons has the following objectives:

  • To act as a legal resource through which it can legally and strategically empower activists, lawyers, paralegals and civil society.
  • To improve jurisprudence on the rights of LGBT persons through incremental litigation focusing on freedom of association and expression for LGBT activists in the region.
  • To create a more nuanced legal strategy for criminal defence in sodomy cases.
  • To assert the role of the State to provide full citizenship and self-determination to all persons irrespective of gender identity and sexual orientation.
  • To assert police accountability in cases of police abuse of transgender persons.

On-going cases:

Zimbabwe: Action for damages for unlawful arrest of transgender person.
Botswana: Case challenging laws which criminalise same-sex sexual acts.
Malawi: Case challenging sodomy provisions in Penal Code.
Mozambique: Case challenging refusal to register LGBT organisation.
Malawi: Case challenging the arrest of a transgender person on the charge of soliciting for an immoral purpose.

Precedent cases:

Botswana: Two cases challenging State’s refusal to change gender marker of transgender persons.
Botswana: Case challenging the refusal to register an LGBT organisation.
Malawi: Case challenging arrest of couple on sodomy charges.
Zambia: Case challenging arrest of couple on sodomy charges.
Zambia: Support activist’s right to freedom of expression.


13 Jun 2019 Staff Writer
SALC IN THE NEWS: Incremental gains and public activism pave the way for decrimi...

The Daily Maverick Incremental gains and public activism pave way the way for decriminalisation of same-sex sexual conduct in Botswana By Tashwill Esterhuizen The recent Botswana court victory, which will bring enormous benefits to the LGBT community in Botswana and…

Read More
11 Jun 2019 Staff Writer
News Release: Botswana high court decriminalises consensual same-sex sexual cond...

On Tuesday, 11 June 2019, a full bench of the Botswana High Court issued a ground-breaking judgment, decriminalising same-sex sexual conduct between consenting adults.  In a unanimous decision, Justices A.B Tafa, M. Leburu and J. Dube found that sections 164(a),…

Read More
11 Jun 2019 Tashwill Esterhuizen
Botswana: Challenging Criminalisation of Same-Sex Sexual Relationships...

In September 2016, a gay man, filed an application challenging the constitutionality of sections 164(a), 164(c) and 165 of the Botswana Penal Code. These provisions criminalise same-sex sexual acts between consenting persons. The man seeks an order that the continued…

Read More
05 Mar 2019 Staff Writer
Media Advisory: Botswana High Court to Hear Constitutionality of Offences which ...

On Thursday, 14 March 2019, a full bench of the Botswana High Court, sitting before the Honourable Judge A.B Tafa, the Honourable Judge M. Leburu and the Honourable Judge J. Dube, will hear a case challenging the constitutionality of sections…

Read More
10 Dec 2018 Anneke Meerkotter
Reflection on the Closing of Civic Spaces in Southern Africa...

From 14 to 16 November 2018, 100 human rights defenders from across Southern Africa met to discuss the closing of civic spaces in the region. The Summit noted points for activism to ensure that human rights defenders are able to…

Read More