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A call of nature

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Mystery caller ends Borolong/Chadibe bogosi meeting

There seems to be no solution in sight for an old border dispute between the residents of Borolong and Chadibe.

The two villages have been at each other’s throats over a stretch of land nestled between Thalogang River and the railway line.

While Borolong residents claim the ward they call Shongochena is in their village, Chadibe residents are adamant the ward is called Dikgatho and is rightfully theirs.

With a combined population of over 10, 000, the dispute has been a stumbling block in the two villages’ development, in particular the area in dispute.

Chadibe royals insist that the boundary of the two villages is Thalogang River, a claim disputed in Borolong who believe the boundary to be the railway line.

This stand-off resulted in the freezing of all plot allocations in Shongochena/Dikgatho because both the Tonota -Sub Land Board, which services Borolong, and the Marapong- Sub Land Board, which services Chadibe, claim the area is disputed.

At its worst, the dispute was the cause of many double allocations, including a 16-hectare plot earmarked for the construction of a brigade.

Interventions from as far back as 2011 by the then Minister of Local Government, Lebonaamang Mokalake, and Bangwato Regent, Sediegeng Kgamane have failed.

On the 10th of January, Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse of Tonota convened a meeting at Thalogang Junior Secondary School, which ironically is considered ‘neutral ground’ as it stands on the disputed area.

At the meeting, attended by residents of both villages, Radipitse told the gathering that the agenda of the day was to vote for the headman of Shongochena/Dikgatho by show of hands.

To compete for the coveted chieftainship role were to be Keletso Mpatane from Borolong and Wina Namakando from Chadibe.

“I want to reiterate that today’s meeting is not about who the area belongs to. We are simply going to vote by a show of hands who’ll take over the leadership role of Shongochena/Dikgatho,” explained Kgosi Radipitse.

This, however, did not sit well with the Borolong contingent led by their Kgosi Israel Molema, who told Radipitse that they submitted Mpatane as their preferred candidate to take over the chieftainship of Shongochena over eight years ago.

Molema said Mpatane was unveiled to his tribe in August 2011 and her name dully sent to Tonota for approval.

“We learnt later that our minutes were outdated and ordered to re-do the unveiling process which we did in May 2018. We were shocked because we never knew Kgotla meeting minutes could expire,” fired Molema.

The seemingly unimpressed Borolong Chief told Kgosi Radipitse, who’s his senior, that his tribe would not take part in the voting process since there’s a pending court case before the Francistown High Court in which Chadibe leadership are challenging the boundary of the two villages.

FULL HOUSE: Residents inside the hall

“We’re not going to vote because we’ve already sent a name,” he reiterated, adding defiantly, “We can’t vote for a chief at a secondary school when we have a Kgotla that we to address all issues concerning our village.”

A bemused Chadibe Chief, Kgosi Mmoloki Kajata, who clearly wanted the vote to go ahead, attracted murmurs from the packed hall when he declared Dikgatho has been a ward under Chadibe for as far as he can remember.

“In my knowledge, Borolong and Chadibe are divided by Thalogang River. I’m not an elected chief. I was born a chief and I know the lineage of Chadibe chieftainship,” he maintained.

It was at this point that Kgosi Radipitse slid outside to take a call. He returned a few minutes later and ordered that the meeting be stopped immediately.

“I just received a call from the people who sent me here. I won’t say who but they ordered me to stop this meeting, but I’m also not in a position to disclose why this meeting has to be stopped,” announced Radipitse, news that was greeted with stunned silence.

However, as the crowd dispersed, murmurs of dissatisfaction and confusion could be heard as the dispute once again remains unresolved, thanks this time to the mystery caller.

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That’s murder, not ‘balls’ defense– court tells convict

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The Gaborone High Court has convicted Boyboy Lesele for the murder of Matshediso Racheru on July 1st, 2015 in Ramotswa.

The bartender was immediately whisked away to prison where he will spend some time before his sentencing next month.

Justice Gabriel Komboni found Lesele guilty after pointing out at loopholes in the accused person’s defence, adding that the prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he killed the deceased by hitting her with a firewood or log and she died a day later in hospital.

“There is no doubt that the deceased died of the wounds that were caused by the accused person who hit her twice with a blunt object on her head. The deceased sustained two fractures on her skull and there was blood in her brain,” Justice Komboni said in his ruling.

In his Evidence in Chief, Lesele had told the court that he hit his girlfriend after she insulted him as well as his mother, and that she regularly did that when she was drunk.

He said that on the night of the killing, the deceased person who had been drinking with friends at Dinare Bar, had wanted to top up her drunk status by smoking dagga to which he protested.

An argument ensued followed by a physical fight and the deceased grabbed his balls and held tight until he decided to hit her with a nearby firewood, he told the court.

However, State witnesses told the court that they did not hear any argument between the lovebirds despite the proximity of their bedrooms to the fireplace where the killing occurred.

The only eye witness, with whom the deceased had been drinking earlier, told the court that she saw the accused person hit the deceased with the burning log and that she saw burning ashes around Matshediso’s head.

Justice Komboni stated that the accused person’s version of self-defense was an afterthought in that he did not tell the Investigating Officer about how the deceased held tight his balls nor did he go and seek medical attention after the alleged fight.

“This is false. Even if I give the accused the benefit of doubt and assume that the deceased held a grip at his balls, this did not justify the gravity of the assault he inflicted on her. The attack was vicious as there were two fractures on the skull and blood in the brain”.

The judge said that the pathologist report indicates that the accused person used excessive force disproportionate with the pain and the provocation he claims was caused by the deceased.  He pronounced the guilty verdict and revoked Lesele’s bail ordering his immediate arrest. The prosecution and defense will meet again next week when they will argue on whether or not there is existence of extenuating circumstances.

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Police discourage withdrawal of GBV cases

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Botswana Police Service has adopted a policy that discourages withdrawal of Gender Based Violence (GBV) related cases after they have been reported.

 Raising concern during the GBV Pitso ya Borre campaign official launch on Valentine’s Day held at Molepolole bus rank, Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgophe, said it seemed the police are now being used by some women who report cases only to withdraw them at a later stage.

 He said suspects get incarcerated and later on they face challenges of some intending to sue them for that, also that they have reports of victims being murdered following withdrawal of cases which the public end up blaming them.

“The choice of venue for this launch was mostly influenced by the fact that in the recent past Kweneng District experienced a surge of GBV related cases, mostly murder, rape and assault. The frequency at which murder cases were reported was alarming and brought fear to the residents and shocked the entire country,” said Makgophe at the well attended event.

According to the national statistics on GBV crimes, there were 1208 recorded cases of defilement in 2019 compared to 769 in 2018; indicating a 57 percent increase which is 439.

In her keynote address, the First Lady Neo Jane Masisi, appealed to the chiefs, churches, health practitioners, civil society organisations and the public to help GBV committees and the police in fighting GBV.

She encouraged the police to continue spreading the message across the country

Masisi also promised to continue with her mission in supporting GBV campaigns and also to seek assistance from outside the country.

 Pitso ya Borre campaign kick-started on February 8th, 2020 with educational campaigns targeting churches, schools, cattle posts, various organisations and wider male population.

The BPS took advantage of the mood of the day and distributed the roses to the men to present to their loved ones.

Held under the theme ‘Ending Gender Based Violence Starts With Me # emisakgokgontsho,’ the attendees included Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Thomas Kagiso Mmusi and other officials.   

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Son of BDP women’s wing SG accused of forging DIS boss signature

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Yes I was detained and questioned- Maruapula

A man rumoured to be romantically linked to the reigning Miss Botswana, Oweditse Phirinyane was this week allegedly nabbed and questioned for impersonating a Directorate Of Intelligence Services (DIS) agent.

The suspect, Mompati Maruapula is the son of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) women’s wing secretary General, Neo Maruapula.

He reportedly attracted law enforcement officers’s attention by uttering a false document, complete with a forged signature of the Director General of the DIS Peter Magosi as ‘proof” that he was employee of the DIS when he was not.

He allegedly produced the fake proof of employment in an attempt to fraudulently purchase a BMW vehicle limited addition at one of the car dealers in Gaborone, an eyewitness has claimed.

“The car dealership phoned the DIS to confirm and that is when law enforcement agencies were alerted and a sting operation was set in motion to nab him,” the source further narrated.

He was then told to come back at 2Pm for the car only for him to find security agents waiting to catch him.

Asked to comment on the incident Maruapula explained that he was not charged but simply questioned.

“They (Police) said they would get back to me. I have not yet been charged with any crime. I was briefly detained and released yes. It is true,” he said in a brief interview.

The DIS when quizzed about the matter referred The Voice to The Botswana Police.

“I cannot confirm nor deny your questions. Please liase with the Police for a full brief,” DISS spokesperson Edward Robert said.

Miss Botswana also refused to comment saying she would like to keep her private life private and quickly handed the phone to the recently divorced Maruapula who was in her company at the time.

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