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Kgosi Sebele II (Part 18): The Destruction of Old Molepolole



In our last episode it was observed that by November 1933 Resident Commissioner Rey, had decided as part of his plans for the relocation of Molepolole away from its two then existing clusters of Ntsweng and Borakalalo, to incorporate the additional goal of introducing residential race segregation into the community.

By the regional standards of the time Molepolole was relatively integrated. Examples of what the racist authorities labelled as "miscegenation" or race mixing could by then be found among most of Molepolole's "non-Native" families, while Sebele's second wife, Susan (nee Wolf) was a Motlokwa of mixed race background.

This circumstance had attracted the attention of the Union Government in Pretoria as well as the Protectorate’s administrative enclave in Mahikeng. In a 1929 study on the status of Europeans in Bechuanaland the Director of the South African Bureau of Educational and Social Research, Dr. E.G. Malherb had observed that:

"Dealing with the question of race mixture first, I feel that the problem should be tackled immediately. I am not referring to isolated cases here there which seem unavoidable, but have in mind particularly the situation at Molepolole, where practically the whole European community is involved. The situation there is both serious and difficult. The seriousness lies in the fact that the people with a touch of coloured blood are respectable and on practically the same level as the Europeans."

In the face of the continued refusal of Bakwena to move, in April 1937 Rey finally undertook stronger measures to assure his desired resettlement. Mounted police began carrying out a policy of mass arrests. People were summoned by the score and fined the then considerable sum of 5 pounds or one month with hard labour each for their refusal to move.

After week, during which some 300 were summoned and 102 convicted, resulting in the jails at both Gaberones Camp and Molepolole becoming filled beyond capacity, the Bakwena surrendered and began moving. Had they held out few days longer it is likely that it would have been the British who would have been forced to capitulate.

But, the Queen-Mother, Phetogo, briefly joined by her daughter-in-law Susan (Mmamoruakgomo), who in 1936 brought her children from Ghanzi where they were denied schooling, and son Mosarwa continued to hold out. As Mmamoruakgomo later recalled:

"I took our five children to stay with Phetogo Sechele, the queen mother and Sebele's supporters at Ntsweng, near Molepolole. Sebele's brother Kgari Sechele II, who had succeeded as chief treated us badly. He was jealous. Of all Sebele's wives I was the only one who had sons, and Kgari knew they were the rightful heirs to the throne. Kgari kept us for days without food. Those who sympathised with us were arrested and their homes at Ntsweng demolished and they were forced to move from Ntsweng to join Kgari's supporters at present day Molepolole. I took my five children and fled to Tlokweng. I feared for our lives.

Until her death two decades later, however, Phetogo remained defiant inside Sebele's Bakwena National Office, which has ever since been locally referred to as ''MmaKgosing.'' Today its ruins are only building still partially standing at Ntsweng. The palatial house of Sechele I, which had up until then been preserved as his monument (and gravesite) was razed along with other buildings.  Only the European residents were, partially, compensated for their losses. For decades thereafter many of the affected generation of Bakwena remained bitter.

The support given by Bathoen II and Tshekedi Khama to the BoSebele coincided with their increasingly vigorous resistance to Rey's Native Administration and Justice Proclamations. If the Resident Commissioner thought that he would intimidate the dikgosi by his action against Sebele he badly misjudged their characters.

Tshekedi did, in fact, believe that ''he would be the next to go." But this assumption seems to have strengthened his determination to challenge Rey's Proclamations, which explicitly empowered the colonial government to suspend or depose Chiefs without reference to either local opinion or any form Judicial enquiry. He also objected the provisions mandating the delegation of royal authority to appointed Tribal Councils:

"An administering Council is something which does not agree with the fundamental principal of Native Administration as it introduces a principal in a native society for anybody to act apart from the head or Chief. In this regard the Bakwena have been quoted time and time again as exceptions to the rule. Some of us do respectfully warn those in authority that the Bakwena Council has gone a long way to convince the natives of the undesirability of an acting Council in the place of an acting Chief Someday this truth will be impressed upon the administration."

Tshekedl and Bathoen's refusal to implement the Proclamations, resulting in their 1936 legal challenge before the High Court, thus also called into question the legitimacy of Sebele's removal. Although the Judge ruled against the dikgosi, citing the colonial government's ''unfettered and unlimited powers" under the Foreign Jurisdictions Act, the Proclamations were thereafter withdrawn as unworkable. By then Rey's superiors had concluded that his heavy handed approach to the Chiefs, and the consequent turmoil within Kweneng and the other Reserves, had been counter-productive.

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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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