Last week I wrote an article entitled “Remembering the unwanted: Kgosi Linchwe II (1935-2007)”. The article has attracted a rejoinder from one of our country’s renowned historians and writers, Sandy Grant. I am indebted to him for his informative rejoinder to which I respond hereunder.
But before that, I wish to note that any subject, to the extent it is based on accounts from different sources and by individuals with varying experiences and preferences, may have conflicting accounts. Such is the nature of history, the basis for my article on Linchwe.
That notwithstanding, considering that Grant had first hand interactions with Linchwe and several of the people and incidents I relate in the said article, his version is likely to be more reliable than mine. After all, compared to Grant I am a novice in the field of History and I was only born yesterday. But, for most of the facts in the said article I rely on information from a historian and writer of Grant’s class, Dr. Jeff Ramsay.
Firstly, Grant asks “If Chief Molefi took Linchwe out of the Emmerentia school in Warbaths because he didn’t want him to turn into a Boer, it needs to be explained …why he was ever sent there in the first place?”
This is indeed a good question since there seems to be a contradiction. The only answer, which needs verification through primary sources of history, could be that he changed his mind after actual experiences of apartheid which he hitherto may not have actually experienced.
Secondly, Grant raises issue with my assertion that “It is regrettable that Linchwe’s gesture notwithstanding, the Kgatleng District Council only officially lifted the ZCC ban in 1968”. The essence of this assertion is not to cast aspersions on Linchwe, but to cast aspersions on Kgatleng District Council which only lifted the ZCC ban in 1968, two years after Linchwe re-introduced the ZCC to Mochudi for his wedding in 1966.
I am indebted to Grant’s exposition that “in reality, the District Council agreed in 1968 that under the Constitution, the ZCC could not (be) banned, or indeed unbanned.” It is worth noting that if this was indeed Kgatleng District Council’s view it was misled because our recognition of the freedoms of association and religion even predate the Constitution.
Thirdly, Grant states that “whilst Kgosi Linchwe approved and supported projects, he tended not to initiate them. The one exception was the Mochudi library which he established together with Naomi Mitchison”.
I concede to this point because, as a Kgosi who had many advisors and who subscribed to the idea that Kgosi ke Kgosi ka Batho, Linchwe is likely to have got the ideas for the community’s projects from his advisors and his people. That notwithstanding he deserves commendation because other leaders receive advise from their advisors and people, but disregard such advise.
To the extent Grant states that “the Mochudi Community Centre was established by Martin Ennals and a Committee in London with myself as its first Secretary/Warden… One of its twin roles was to act as a transit centre for refugees from South Africa. Renamed the Kgatleng Development Board – to reflect changed priorities – the project ceased to have any involvement with refugees” he cannot be controverted for he is, in this case, a primary source.
Fourthly, Grant asserts that “the Centre was not established through Linchwe's contacts with Martin Ennals, who would later go on to found Amnesty International. The link, in fact, was Naomi Mitchison who had attended Linchwe's 1963 installation. It was she who helped to carry through Martin Ennal’s concern in London about refugees by introducing him to Linchwe”. I am indebted to Grant for this clarification.
Fifth, Grant states that “Amnesty International was founded by Peter Benenson in 1961… Martin Ennals became its second General Secretary in 1967”. He is right. To add, Peter Benenson was a British lawyer and, according to Amnesty International (AI)’s website, AI was founded “…following the publication of the article "The Forgotten Prisoners" in The Observer (of) 28 May 1961.”
Sixth, Grant states that “Linchwe II School was… started by Henderson Tlhoiwe. I am open to correction.” Even if Linchwe II School was started by Henderson Tlhoiwe the fact is that without Linchwe’s support the school would not have been built. No wonder it is named after Linchwe.
Seventh, Grant opines that “I much doubt, and regard as highly improbable, the statement that a door of the Dutch Reformed Church in Mochudi ever had a ‘whites only’ sign.” I served my Tirelo Sechaba in Bokaa village in Kgatleng in the mid-90s and several elderly people gave me account of this and stated that during the apartheid era the Dutch Reformed Church did not only have racist elements, but also had gender discrimination tendencies.
Eighth, in relation to my statement that “Linchwe’s sister, Tshire, did not help matters when she openly campaigned for the BPP candidate” Grant asks the question ‘Help who?’ and opines that “this is an extraordinarily subjective comment. Surely there will be others who would argue the opposite!”
The statement that Tshire did not help matters when she openly campaigned for the BPP candidate means that it exacerbated the belief that Linchwe and/or the royal family were involved in partisan politics. That this is a subjective comment and others would argue the opposite is true for that is the nature of a social science as the one under review.
Ninth, Grant requires either Dr. Ramsay or me to provide the source of the information that “Dr. Kenneth Koma was allowed to use Linchwe’s office, where he wrote Pamphlet No. 1.” I quoted Dr. Ramsay in his article published in the Sunday Standard’s edition of 26th August 2007. Just like Grant, Dr. Ramsay is a renowned historian and writer and I have no reason to doubt his account.
Tenth, Grant states that “Morima, again quoting Ramsay, is incorrect in stating that, “Linchwe acquiesced despite Ruele’s strong protests, to the use by an independent candidate, Sandy Grant, of the Bakgatla totem, a monkey as his election symbol. Grant, however, agreed to give up the symbol.”
Grant continues to say “in reality, as should have always been obvious, I could never have used the Kgabo as my election symbol unless Kgosi Linchwe had specifically approved the idea.” There is no variance between our account and Grant’s since we said “Linchwe acquiesced…” meaning that he agreed to Grant’s use of the Kgabo despite Ruele’s strong protests.
Otherwise, I am indebted to Grant for enriching our history by stating that “Whilst Ruele may well have objected to Kgosi Linchwe, his more pertinent objection was made to Festus Mogae who was then Superintendent of Elections. Mogae had previously accepted my choice of symbol as being legally permissible. He was soon to tell me, however, that he had heard Ruele’s objections and had decided to support him, despite his earlier decision.”
Grant is right that “surprisingly it has not become a matter of debate that a chosen electoral symbol could be rejected whilst being legally acceptable.” Over and above debate, this is a matter that could have been better served had Grant taken it to the courts of law so that judicial precedent is set on the matter.
Eleventh, Grant quotes me when I wrote that “In 1975 he (Linchwe) attempted to revive the male and female initiation practices of bogwera and bojale.” According to Grant this leaves the reader guessing. “Either he did or didn’t – was his attempt, as implied, a failure? Or did the ‘attempt' succeed?”
I wish to apologise to my readers for leaving them guessing. The intention of this statement was to show that though he revived the practices the practices later ceased to take place as they used to. It will be remembered that when his son and successor, Kgosi Kgafela II, took over he also tried to revive the practices, with little success.
Twelfth, Grant takes issue with my statement that “perhaps because of Mma Seingwaeng’s influence, Linchwe was also pro-women’s' rights and empowerment… In 1964 he allowed women to fully participate in kgotla meetings”.
It is true, as Grant asserts, that “In 1964 Linchwe was still unmarried but was very much influenced by Naomi Mitchison, an internationally known feminist and author… MmaSeingwaeng has not been widely known, bojale aside, as a pro-feminist.”
It is equally true that MmaSeingwaeng, having been born and bred in South Africa during the apartheid era, is likely to have been conscious not only of the evils of racism, but also of the evil of gender discrimination. She, therefore, is likely to have brought such influence to bear on Linchwe.
Certainly, Naomi Mitchison cannot have been the only influence on Linchwe in as far as women’s' rights are concerned. Grant himself admits this when he says “pinning down influence is always tricky and bound to be speculative.”
Thirteenth, Grant takes issue with my statement that “the stain in his reign remains the 1994 riots following the alleged ritual killing of a school girl, Segametsi Mogomotsi. According to Grant this statement is not credible and it is ridiculous. In his view, by making the statement, I did Linchwe a major injustice.
I apologise if that is the effect of my statement. The purpose of my article was to celebrate the hero that Linchwe remained until his death. By making the statement I was not in any way suggesting that Linchwe did anything wrong. No doubt, to promote law and order, Linchwe was right in appealing for the Police to be given time to investigate the murder. In fact he needs to be commended for averting a crisis.
But the truth is, some people lost confidence in him because they believed that he was protecting the Police. Some even made the unsubstantiated and regrettable allegations that he was involved in Segametsi Mogomotsi’s murder, an allegation that has never been proved.
In 2005, the Business & Economic Advisory Council (BEAC) pitched the idea of the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to the Mogae Administration.
It took five years before the SEZ policy was formulated, another five years before the relevant law was enacted, and a full three years before the Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) became operational.
… courtesy of infiltration stratagem by Jehovah-Enlil’s clan
With the passing of Joshua’s generation, General Atiku, the promised peace and prosperity of a land flowing with milk and honey disappeared, giving way to chaos and confusion.
Maybe Joshua himself was to blame for this shambolic state of affairs. He had failed to mentor a successor in the manner Moses had mentored him. He had left the nation without a central government or a human head of state but as a confederacy of twelve independent tribes without any unifying force except their Anunnaki gods.
If I say the word ‘robot’ to you, I can guess what would immediately spring to mind – a cute little Android or animal-like creature with human or pet animal characteristics and a ‘heart’, that is to say to say a battery, of gold, the sort we’ve all seen in various movies and tv shows. Think R2D2 or 3CPO in Star Wars, Wall-E in the movie of the same name, Sonny in I Robot, loveable rogue Bender in Futurama, Johnny 5 in Short Circuit…
Of course there are the evil ones too, the sort that want to rise up and eliminate us inferior humans – Roy Batty in Blade Runner, Schwarzenegger’s T-800 in The Terminator, Box in Logan’s Run, Police robots in Elysium and Otomo in Robocop.
And that’s to name but a few. As a general rule of thumb, the closer the robot is to human form, the more dangerous it is and of course the ultimate threat in any Sci-Fi movie is that the robots will turn the tables and become the masters, not the mechanical slaves. And whilst we are in reality a long way from robotic domination, there are an increasing number of examples of robotics in the workplace.
ROBOT BLOODHOUNDS Sometimes by the time that one of us smells something the damage has already begun – the smell of burning rubber or even worse, the smell of deadly gas. Thank goodness for a robot capable of quickly detecting and analyzing a smell from our very own footprint.
A*Library Bot The A*Star (Singapore) developed library bot which when books are equipped with RFID location chips, can scan shelves quickly seeking out-of-place titles. It manoeuvres with ease around corners, enhances the sorting and searching of books, and can self-navigate the library facility during non-open hours.
DRUG-COMPOUNDING ROBOT Automated medicine distribution system, connected to the hospital prescription system. It’s goal? To manipulate a large variety of objects (i.e.: drug vials, syringes, and IV bags) normally used in the manual process of drugs compounding to facilitate stronger standardisation, create higher levels of patient safety, and lower the risk of hospital staff exposed to toxic substances.
AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY ROBOTS Applications include screw-driving, assembling, painting, trimming/cutting, pouring hazardous substances, labelling, welding, handling, quality control applications as well as tasks that require extreme precision,
AGRICULTURAL ROBOTS Ecrobotix, a Swiss technology firm has a solar-controlled ‘bot that not only can identify weeds but thereafter can treat them. Naio Technologies based in southwestern France has developed a robot with the ability to weed, hoe, and assist during harvesting. Energid Technologies has developed a citrus picking system that retrieves one piece of fruit every 2-3 seconds and Spain-based Agrobot has taken the treachery out of strawberry picking. Meanwhile, Blue River Technology has developed the LettuceBot2 that attaches itself to a tractor to thin out lettuce fields as well as prevent herbicide-resistant weeds. And that’s only scratching the finely-tilled soil.
INDUSTRIAL FLOOR SCRUBBERS The Global Automatic Floor Scrubber Machine boasts a 1.6HP motor that offers 113″ water lift, 180 RPM and a coverage rate of 17,000 sq. ft. per hour
These examples all come from the aptly-named site www.willrobotstakemyjob.com because while these functions are labour-saving and ripe for automation, the increasing use of artificial intelligence in the workplace will undoubtedly lead to increasing reliance on machines and a resulting swathe of human redundancies in a broad spectrum of industries and services.
This process has been greatly boosted by the global pandemic due to a combination of a workforce on furlough, whether by decree or by choice, and the obvious advantages of using virus-free machines – I don’t think computer viruses count! For example, it was suggested recently that their use might have a beneficial effect in care homes for the elderly, solving short staffing issues and cheering up the old folks with the novelty of having their tea, coffee and medicines delivered by glorified model cars. It’s a theory, at any rate.
Already,customers at the South-Korean fast-food chain No Brand Burger can avoid any interaction with a human server during the pandemic. The chain is using robots to take orders, prepare food and bring meals out to diners. Customers order and pay via touchscreen, then their request is sent to the kitchen where a cooking machine heats up the buns and patties. When it’s ready, a robot ‘waiter’ brings out their takeout bag.
‘This is the first time I’ve actually seen such robots, so they are really amazing and fun,’ Shin Hyun Soo, an office worker at No Brand in Seoul for the first time, told the AP.
Human workers add toppings to the burgers and wrap them up in takeout bags before passing them over to yellow-and-black serving robots, which have been compared to Minions.
Also in Korea, the Italian restaurant chain Mad for Garlic is using serving robots even for sit-down customers. Using 3D space mapping and other technology, the electronic ‘waiter,’ known as Aglio Kim, navigates between tables with up to five orders. Mad for Garlic manager Lee Young-ho said kids especially like the robots, which can carry up to 66lbs in their trays.
These catering robots look nothing like their human counterparts – in fact they are nothing more than glorified food trolleys so using our thumb rule from the movies, mankind is safe from imminent takeover but clearly Korean hospitality sector workers’ jobs are not.
And right there is the dichotomy – replacement by stealth. Remote-controlled robotic waiters and waitresses don’t need to be paid, they don’t go on strike and they don’t spread disease so it’s a sure bet their army is already on the march.
But there may be more redundancies on the way as well. Have you noticed how AI designers have an inability to use words of more than one syllable? So ‘robot’ has become ‘bot’ and ‘android’ simply ‘droid? Well, guys, if you continue to build machines ultimately smarter than yourselves you ‘rons may find yourself surplus to requirements too – that’s ‘moron’ to us polysyllabic humans”!