A decision by the North West Premier in South Africa, Mr Supra Mahumapelo may just have given Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla Ba Kgafela the reprieve he needed following the initial decision by an appointed Commission to rule against the Bakgatla Paramount Chief in relation to a traditional leadership dispute.
This publication has learnt that Mahumapelo on February 24 2016 disapproved the report of the recommendations on Traditional Leadership and Dispute of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela by Mr Merafe Ramono against Kgosi Nyalala Pilane. Mahumapelo made clear in his appraisal of the report that the report does not anywhere mention that the authority of Botswana has at any stage changed in reigning or appointing Kgosi in Moruleng.
Part of the report, Mahumapelo pointed out, specifically refers to the history of Bakgatla Ba Kgafela that it fell under the paramount Chief in Botswana. The report further demonstrates what gave rise to the dispute and what custom prevailed. Further, “it confirms how intervention was achieved viz final word of Lentswe II who at the time was based in Botswana.” Mahumapelo is taken aback by the fact that the report by the Commission has failed to even mention if at all that such a practice of appointing Moruleng Kgosi by the Botswana authority which such practice emanated from custom had changed.
“Furthermore it is clear from the Report under the methodology that the Commission did not at any stage consult/engage Bakgatla Ba Kgafela in Botswana in view custom. This omission is not explained anywhere in the Report and it further states that there was contravention of custom,” Mahumapelo wrote.
What further puzzles Mahumapelo in the Report by the Commission is the failure of the commissioners to explain how the decision not to recognise the Paramountcy of Kgosi Kgafela was reached, “even the process which was followed to reach the position is not explained,” he stated. The commission has also established that Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela’s certificate of recognition as Kgosi by the government of Botswana has been withdrawn because of the warrant of arrest issued against him for assault charges. The report also revealed that it is not true that Kgafela is a South African as the Home Affairs department is still investigating his citizenship in South Africa.
Mahumapelo observes that the Report stated that “all the seven families that constitute the broader Bakgatla Ba Kgafela royal family in South Africa (Moruleng) unanimously agreed with the fact that Kgosi Nyalala is not the right senior traditional leader of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela”. The report had stated that seven families constituting the broader Bakgatla royal families in Moruleng do not recognise the “paramountcy of Kgosi Kgafela and that they now consider themselves a separate tribe from that of Botswana”.
He further states that in view of this conclusion that the Report was signed only with due regard to the peculiarity of the tribe and its custom hence the conditions advanced for unity in considering recommendations.
According to Mahumapelo the report of the Recommendations on Traditional Leadership and Dispute of the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela by Mr Merafe Ramono against Kgosi Nyalala Pilane is not approved.
“As a result of the disapproval of the report and the fact that the Commission whose mandate was to investigate the disputes and claims has ceased to exist, it is my considered view to appoint a Commission of Judicial Inquiry within reasonable time to deal with all issues in totality regarding this matter and any other matters which circumstances may warrant referral and considerations,” writes Mahumapelo.
The Commission Report had stated that in terms of custom and tradition of Bakgatla Ba Kgafela, if there is a family that has to be considered to lead the tribe in Moruleng, it is the descendants of the first and senior house of Kgamanyane. Mahumapelo’s assessment of the report has almost sprung Kgosi Kgafela back to contention, his supporters say.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.