Mogoditshane Police Station Commander Zacharia Tshenyego confirmed that the late Thabo Olatlheng who was killed in a controversial mob justice incident this week was a seasoned criminal.
Responding to questions from WeekendPost, Tshenyego said their records show two ‘serious’ break- in and robbery cases registered under his name while other unconfirmed cases are registered with different police stations. Earlier this week 24 year old Lotlhakane-West born Thabo Olatlheng was killed in Senthumole Ward in Mogoditshane by residents who were tracking him down after a car break in that night. According to Tshenyego, it looks like the deceased had the habit of breaking in cars and that angered the residents.
Olatlheng was a resident of Mogoditshane and Naledi and was serving bail for different offences at the time of his demise. It is also alleged that he was on a bail of a murder, a case police in Mogoditshane could not prove at the time of going to press. “I cannot say he was a criminal but there are cases registered under his name. He was still innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law”, said Tshenyego. However Tshenyego also confirmed that in both two accounts, the perpetrator used violence in his victims something that shows that he was dangerous.
The Acting Station Commander said at the time no arrests have been made because information is not coming forthwith, however they are conducting a lot of interviews. “It is not easy to identify victims unless some people can volunteer information or one of the relatives was there but we are continuing our investigations,” he said.
Prominent Lawyers offered their views on Mob Justice via social media
Those who have blood on their hands must face the full might of the law. Mob (in) justice has no place in a democratic society just as any crime. Yes, when one is under attack they can act in self defence and their conduct must reasonably be aimed at overcoming the threat. Anything beyond that is a crime for which consequences must follow.
I genuinely believed we were past that stage in our national development where we could argue on whether mob justice constitutes acceptable societal intervention against crime. The current debate does not only speak to the extent to which we have been brutalized by crime as a society but also to the extent to which we have lost faith in the law enforcement machinery and the justice system.
It is symptomatic of a damaged societal psyche that needs to be corrected through deliberate community and state led intervention programs that can make us feel safe in our homes. We need to address the crime situation before some among us say, as Edward Aden Tswaipe correctly remarked, that we rape the sisters of those who rape our sisters. Our reasoning as a society has degenerated to that level.
First of all, there is no such thing as mob justice. A mob is not capable of meting out justice (fairness). Mob justice is the law of the jungle which has no place in a civilized society. A civilized society adheres to the rule of law, justice by law and due process. Mob justice is simply barbaric. I hear people arguing that condemning mob justice means we tolerate what the murdered person is alleged to have done. No. Far from it. I am against taking the law into your own hands. I am against you being the complainant, prosecutor, judge and executioner. Until proved guilty, the man is only a suspect. Why not allow the law to take its course?
I perfectly understand that people are sometimes frustrated by law enforcement and justice system. Mob justice is not, however, the answer to that frustration. When you believe in mob justice: when do we follow mob justice and when do we follow due process?
How many of us, or those who participated in dispensing with the “justice”, have any evidence of what he is alleged to have done? Now, even assuming that he stole, and that mob justice is acceptable, is murder an appropriate punishment for theft, or whatever he is alleged to have done?
I am watching the debate on lynching of thieves from a safe distance. I am not going to take part in the debate but I have a view, a very strong one for that matter. My view is informed by my experience both as a Lawyer and a victim of crime, not once, not twice. The day these thugs invade your private space (bedroom) in the dead of the night while you are sleeping and brazenly beat the hell out of you in front of your children, you will forget sekgoanyana sekgoanyana se o tholang o se choma ko court le mo FB.
Sometime on or around October 2018, a mob of about 10 young boys attacked me in my car, smashed windows and robbed me of my valuables at knife and gun point. It was the most traumatic experience I have ever had and do not wish it upon anybody. They robbed me of a new S8 or whatever it is was, valued at about 16k, ipad valued at about 12k and an iphone valued at 9k. I had to replace my window and programme the motors at an unGodly amount.
In December 2013, the thugs got into my bedroom and stole huge sums of money, proceeds of motshelo. Following the massive security breach at my residence, we had to put in place massive security upgrades at an exorbitant cost. We literally had to turn the house into a fortress. No arrests were made in both instances.
Immediately after the armed robbery, I was instructed on a matter in which client wanted representation in a case in which he Robbed and murdered someone in Mmopane for his sumsung Mobile phone. The matter was coming up for trial and I told him and his parents in clear and unequivocal terms, that I was a victim of a similar armed robbery a few days back and I shall not take their brief.
FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.
FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.
One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.
The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.
Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.
In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.
FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.
The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.
The Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has taken a significant step towards diversifying its energy mix by signing a power purchase agreement with Sekaname Energy for the production of power from coal bed methane in Mmashoro village. This agreement marks a major milestone for the energy sector in Botswana as the country transitions from a coal-fired power generation system to a new energy mix comprising coal, gas, solar, and wind.
The CEO of BPC, David Kgoboko, explained that the Power Purchase Agreement is for a 6MW coal bed methane proof of concept project to be developed around Mmashoro village. This project aligns with BPC’s strategic initiatives to increase the proportion of low-carbon power generation sources and renewable energy in the energy mix. The use of coal bed methane for power generation is an exciting development as it provides a hybrid solution with non-dispatchable sources of generation like solar PV. Without flexible base-load generation, the deployment of non-dispatchable solar PV generation would be limited.
Kgoboko emphasized that BPC is committed to enabling the development of a gas supply industry in Botswana. Sekaname Energy, along with other players in the coal bed methane exploration business, is a key and strategic partner for BPC. The successful development of a gas supply industry will enable the realization of a secure and sustainable energy mix for the country.
The Minister of Minerals & Energy, Lefoko Moagi, expressed his support for the initiative by the private sector to develop a gas industry in Botswana. The country has abundant coal reserves, and the government fully supports the commercial extraction of coal bed methane gas for power generation. The government guarantees that BPC will purchase the generated electricity at reasonable tariffs, providing cash flow to the developers and enabling them to raise equity and debt funding for gas extraction development.
Moagi highlighted the benefits of developing a gas supply industry, including diversified primary energy sources, economic diversification, import substitution, and employment creation. He commended Sekaname Energy for undertaking a pilot project to prove the commercial viability of extracting coal bed methane for power generation. If successful, this initiative would unlock the potential of a gas production industry in Botswana.
Sekaname Energy CEO, Peter Mmusi, emphasized the multiple uses of natural gas and its potential to uplift Botswana’s economy. In addition to power generation, natural gas can be used for gas-to-liquids, compressed natural gas, and fertilizer production. Mmusi revealed that Sekaname has already invested $57 million in exploration and infrastructure throughout its resource area. The company plans to spend another $10-15 million for the initial 6MW project and aims to invest over $500 million in the future for a 90MW power plant. Sekaname’s goal is to assist BPC in becoming a net exporter of power within the region and to contribute to Botswana’s transition to cleaner energy production.
In conclusion, the power purchase agreement between BPC and Sekaname Energy for the production of power from coal bed methane in Mmashoro village is a significant step towards diversifying Botswana’s energy mix. This project aligns with BPC’s strategic initiatives to increase the proportion of low-carbon power generation sources and renewable energy. The government’s support for the development of a gas supply industry and the commercial extraction of coal bed methane will bring numerous benefits to the country, including economic diversification, import substitution, and employment creation. With the potential to become a net exporter of power and a cleaner energy producer, Botswana is poised to make significant strides in its energy sector.
It is not clear as to when, but before taking a festive break in few weeks’ time UDC leaders would have convened to address the ongoing deadlock surrounding constituency allocation in the negotiations for the 2024 elections. The leaders, Duma Boko of the UDC, Mephato Reggie Reatile of the BPF, and Ndaba Gaolathe of the AP, are expected to meet and discuss critical matters and engage in dialogue regarding the contested constituencies.
The negotiations hit a stalemate when it came to allocating constituencies, prompting the need for the leaders to intervene. Representatives from the UDC, AP, and BPF were tasked with negotiating the allocation, with Dr. Patrick Molotsi and Dr. Philip Bulawa representing the UDC, and Dr. Phenyo Butale and Wynter Mmolotsi representing the AP.
The leaders’ meeting is crucial in resolving the contentious issue of constituency allocation, which has caused tension among UDC members and potential candidates for the 2024 elections. After reaching an agreement, the leaders will engage with the members of each constituency to gauge their opinions and ensure that the decisions made are favored by the rank and file. This approach aims to avoid unnecessary costs and conflicts during the general elections.
One of the main points of contention is the allocation of Molepolole South, which the BNF is adamant about obtaining. In the 2019 elections, the UDC was the runner-up in Molepolole South, securing the second position in seven out of eight wards. Other contested constituencies include Metsimotlhabe, Kgatleng East and West, Mmadinare, Francistown East, Shashe West, Boteti East, and Lerala Maunatlala.
The criteria used for constituency allocation have also become a point of dispute among the UDC member parties. The issue of incumbency is particularly contentious, as the criterion for constituency allocation suggests that current holders of UDC’s council and parliamentary seats should be given priority for re-election without undergoing primary elections. Disadvantaged parties argue that this approach limits democratic competition and hinders the emergence of potentially more capable candidates.
Another disputed criterion is the allocation based on the strength and popularity of a party in specific areas. Parties argue that this is a subjective criterion that leads to disputes and favoritism, as clear metrics for strength and visibility cannot be defined. The BNF, in particular, questions the demands of the new entrants, the BPF and AP, as they lack a traceable track record to support their high expectations.
The unity and cohesion of the UDC are at stake, with the BPF and AP expressing dissatisfaction and considering withdrawing from the negotiations. Therefore, it is crucial for the leaders to expedite their meeting and find a resolution to these disputes.
In the midst of these negotiations, the BNF has already secured 15 constituencies within the UDC coalition. While the negotiations are still ongoing, BNF Chairman Dr. Molotsi revealed that they have traditionally held these constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally. The constituencies include Gantsi North, Gantsi South, Kgalagadi North, Kgalagadi South, Good Hope – Mmathethe, Kanye North, Kanye South, Lobatse, Molepolole North, Gaborone South, Gaborone North, Gaborone Bonnignton North, Takatokwane, Letlhakeng, and Tlokweng.
The resolution of the contested constituencies will test the ability of the UDC to present a united front in the 2024 National Elections will depend on the decisions made by the three leaders. It is essential for them to demonstrate maturity and astuteness in resolving the constituency allocation deadlock and ensuring the cohesion of the UDC.