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Kgafela summons SA’s North West Premier for action

Self exiled Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela II of the Bakgatla baga Kgafela has this week filed a notice of motion as an urgent application in South Africa requesting for an order declaring the Premier to implement the findings and recommendations of the Baloyi Commission.

The Commission was established by former Premier, Supra Mahumapelo in 2016 to probe the succession dispute of Bakgatla Ba Kgafela in Moruleng. The assignment is now in the hands of new North West Premier Tebogo Mokgoro, who was appointed to the position in June 2018.  The Commission report essentially vindicated Kgosi Kgafela as the rightful ruler and BaKgatla’s grievances over former Chief’s Representative Nyalala Molefe Pilane’s handling of BaKgatla’s assets and traditional affairs.

It came after Pilane questioned Kgafela II’s legitimacy as a ruler in the traditional succession dispute and claims in respect of Bakgatla Baga Kgafela in Moruleng, South Africa. According to the Commission, the correct relationship between Kgosikgolo Kgafela Kgafela and Kgosi in Saulspoort is as prescribed by custom and tradition and report confirmed Kgafela as the senior leader of Kgosi Pilane.

In the papers filed on Monday, Kgafela wants the court to declare the application to be attended to as a matter of urgency and direct the current Premier of North West and organs of State cited “to give urgent effect to the Baloyi Judicial Commission report (under question).”
He added that the court should also order consultations with the applicants on issues concerning the implementation of the findings and recommendations of the Baloyi Commission report on a quarterly basis and submit progress reports to this Honourable court and applicants.
Among his array of demands, he urges court to order the Premier to comply and implement the order of mandamus of the court order.

Kgafela also demands court to “direct that the Premier should act in terms of section 9(3) and 10(2) of Act 2 of 2005 to urgently appoint an administrator to take over the affairs of the Traditional Council.” In addition to that he wants the Judge to also direct the Premier to appoint forensic investigators to, inter alia, conduct a comprehensive investigation in to the flow of funds from transaction with third parties, including transactions conducted by Bakgatla baga Kgafela entities and flow of any finances in and out of the entities, and further conduct forensic investigation in terms of the Commission’s findings and recommendations.

“Also want court to direct the Premier to withdraw Molefe John Pilane’s letter of designation as Kgosi and publish the notice of withdrawal in the Gazette, inform the Royal family concerned, the Kgosi concerned and the Provincial House of traditional leaders of such removal,” he continued. Moreover he says Mpule David Pheto should be recognized as an acting Kgosi of Bakgatla baga Kgafela in terms of section 16 (2) of Act 2 of 2005 and accordingly; issue Mpule David Pheto with a certificate of recognition as acting Kgosi and issue a notice in the provincial Gazette of the North West Province recognizing him as such and serve such notice at the provincial House of traditional leaders.

The array of demands by Kgafela follows the Commission of Inquiry which has ruled that Kgosikgolo does not become involved in the administration of the community but gets involved only at the request and invitation of the community, the royal family or Kgosi. It has also stated that “the Premier must exercise his powers in terms of sec 9(3) of the North West Act to -instruct Kgosi Pilane to resign from all positions that he holds in Bakgatla baga Kgafela and associate entities within 30 calendar days of the instruction from the Premier, or such other longer time as the Premier may consider but not exceeding 60 calendar days.”

The Commission had also Instructed Kagiso Pilane to resign from all positions that he holds in Bakgatla baga Kgafela and associate entities within 30 calendar days of the instruction from the Premier, or such other longer time as the Premier may consider but not exceeding 60 calendar days. Moreover report further posits: “instruct members of the Traditional Council (TC) to convene a meeting of the community for the purpose of appointing persons that will represent the community in Bakgatla baga Kgafela and associate companies, such persons are not to include Kgosi Pilane.”

The Commission stressed that the Traditional Council should also be required to report its choice to the Premier within 60 days of the instruction. Meanwhile as per the Commission of Inquiry, Pilane has failed to report back to the Bakgatla community, and has deposited money in numerous unauthorised accounts and refused to make these accounts public so they can be audited.

Despite calls by the Bakgatla for intervention, the North West government has until now stood by and watched as the community has been stripped of their assets, it points out. It concluded: “It is time for the North West government to uphold the commission’s recommendations to prevent such large-scale abuse of power from happening again.”

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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