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Kgosi Sebele II (Part 2)

Jeff Ramsay

During the colonial era a myth was fostered that the 1931 political detention without trial of Kgosi Sebele II was brought about at the request of his tribe (morafe) due to his alleged misrule and personal shortcomings. In fact the Kgosi was detained at Ghanzi, but never legally deposed, by British administrators against the will of the overwhelming majority of Bakwena.

Sebele's reign was, however, plagued by an internal opposition. When he returned from the battlefields of France to take up bogosi, he inherited his father Kealeboga Sechele II's (1911-18) critics as well as the throne. Kealeboga had died leaving the morafe polarized by his long-running dispute with a group of self-styled leading headmen led by his uncles Kebohula and Moiteelasilo. By 1918 most of the latter stayed at Borakalalo several kilometres away from the Kgosi's headquarters at Ntsweng.

Kealeboga Sechele II's opponents had resented his policy of promoting more junior dikgosana and commoners as their advisors, as well as their indulgence of such traditional practices as initiation (bogwera le bojale ) and polygamy, which ran against their proclaimed adherence to Christian social norms and morality.

The Mokwena had further threatened the elite's LMS monopoly when he allowed the Anglican Church into the Kweneng. Unlike the LMS the latter church initially tolerated many traditional practices including bogwera and bojale. Some leading headmen, encouraged by LMS missionaries, fought back by petitioning the British to remove the Kgosi.

It was in the context of the above tensions that Sechele II had removed his home to Ntsweng, on top of the hill overlooking Molepolole and where his grandfather, Sechele I had once lived. Most of the morafe had followed Sechele II to settle on the hill.  The anti-Sechele II faction had, however, remained behind in the Borakalalo Valley, five kilometres away. Their compounds were thus adjacent to both main LMS church and the local headquarters of the British Resident Magistrate.

In 1916 the Borakalalo faction got the British to establish the first Bakwena "Tribal Council". Sechele's brothers from Borakalalo dominated the body, which in turn tried to control Sechele. Although Sechele II had succeeded, immediately before his death, in getting the British to abolish the Council, the residents of Molepolole remained divided, between Ntsweng and Borakalalo.

Once on the throne, Sebele II tried to reduce tensions by reaffirming the right of his people to live and worship where they pleased. He, with a large majority of Bakwena, remained at Ntsweng. The Borakalalo leaders, however, were determined to regain control over the young Kgosi and forced him and his followers to resettle in the Valley. They refused to recognize Sebele's rights to rule from the hill and lobbied for official support by questioning his ability to judge cases and otherwise govern without their advice.

In May 1920, the Resident Commissioner, James MacGregor, visited Molepolole and asked Sebele, in front of a large kgotla gathering, to relocate in Borakalalo. When Sebele refused point blank, MacGregor fumed that this "Native chief" would dare to oppose him in public. Macgregor threatened to depose Sebele unless the Kgosi agreed to follow his "advice"

Sebele had nothing to gain from a public showdown with administration. After MacGregor departed for Mafikeng, Sebele sent his apologies and agreed to move. Sebele and his followers, however, remained in Ntsweng and made no actual effort to shift to the valley.

After several months, the British tried to coerce Sebele by withholding his ten per cent commission for hut tax collection, knowing he was under pressure to pay off mounting personal debts. Sebele responded by avoiding contact with the administration. When called to meetings, he absented himself with some excuse.

Sebele II also boycotted the annual sessions of the Native Advisory Council (NAC). The Borakalalo faction, however, did attend the NAC and attempted to use this body as a tool against the Kgosi.

In the 1921 session, the NAC chairman, MacGregor, tabled an anti-Sebele petition sent to him the days before by the Borakalalo faction. The petition, which complained that Sebele listened only to the advice of commoners and not his royal uncles, came at the right time. This particular session was unusual in that it was attended by not a single Kgosi. Two Regents were present, but the majority were representatives drawn from royal groups of the various merafe, the same type of persons as the Borakalalo faction.

The petition, which demanded that Sebele be put on trial, thus also gained support from some members of other merafe, who perhaps saw a chance to put the senior Batswana Kgosi "in his place" (the Bakwena Kgosi is traditionally regarded as senior to the diKgosi of other merafe).

In the end, Macgregor, however, accepted the motion of the Bangwaketse regent Tshosa to form a new Tribal Council in Molepolole to act as the Resident Commissioner's "herdboys".

The administration welcomed the council as means of bringing Sebele under control. The councillors chosen were Kebohula and Moiteelasilo, Sebele's uncles who had served on the first council in Sechele II's time, and Gaashugelwa Kgosidintsi. All were prominent foes of Sebele.

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Export Processing Zones: How to Get SEZA to Sizzle

23rd September 2020
Export Processing Zone (EPZ) factory in Kenya

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.

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Egypt Bagged Again

23rd September 2020

… 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.

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23rd September 2020

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    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”!

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