[ NEWS ] 08/10/2019 – eyeRadio: High Court “violates” customary law

Repost from eyeRadio – 8 OCT 2019

Author: Alhadi Hawari


An advocate has accused the Juba High Court of violating the Customary Laws after it sentenced to death a young man against the aggrieved family’s decision.

Andrea Gore was charged under the Penal Code for intentionally killing his friend Bero Wani Roja on Lolipiong Island, Terekeka State in 2017.

Gore was executed last month, said Advocate Godfrey Victor Bula, executive director for Justice and Human Rights Observatory.

According to the court, a judge used Section 206 of the Penal Code which states that whoever takes the life of a fellow human being shall be convicted to death by hanging.

However, Section “B” of the same Penal Code stipulates that, if the closer relatives of the deceased opt for blood compensation, the death sentence would be altered.

“Death sentence in our law is customary in nature. It has an option. The right to execute somebody remains with only the complainant,” Victor, who represented the accused, told eyeRadio.

“The condemned can only be executed only when the complainant says so.”

According to court files, the late had borrowed two buckets full of maize but declined to pay back, triggering a quarrel.

Gore then hit Wani on the back of his head, killing him instantly.

After a series of discussions, both families agreed to blood compensation.

However, the Presiding Judge Buoth Kolang refused and sentenced the 35-year-old man to death by hanging.

Blood compensation differs from one community to another. In Mundari land, it’s worth 36 heads of cattle.

In 2014, the South Sudan Law Society argued that customary justice was more suitable than statutory justice.

It said customary law courts are cheap and focus on reconciliation, which enable people to have a peaceful society.


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