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ROYAL MESS: Kgosi Pringle Dithapo (in green) and Onalekitso Diako

DEAD CHIEF’S ESTATE HAUNTS TAWANA CUSTOMARY COURT

Tawana customary court in Maun has recused itself from presiding over a bitter family feud case involving the estate of the late kgosi Henderson K. Diako, which has raged on for over a decade.

Recusing himself from the matter, Kgosi Pringle Dithapo said Kgosi Diako’s adopted daughter who is the plaintiff in the matter, Sereko Tsheko is his biological daughter born in 1963 out of wedlock.

“She is my biological daughter and therefore I cannot preside over the matter. Kgosi Charles Letsholathebe said he could not take the case because the people who brought this matter to court were his in-laws and kgosi Oleo Ledimo also excused himself noting that he could not preside over a matter involving his uncle’s in-laws,” Dithapo stated, leaving no other available chief at the Tawana customary court to take up the case.

Outside court, Dithapo said, “Tsheko is my biological daughter. I have recently paid eight cattle for damages to her mother’s family so that she can be legally recognized as my daughter. Kgosi Diako married her mother and raised her as his own and I haven’t been in contact with her for a long time. I almost did not recognise her.”

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In conclusion the chief stated that the matter would be referred to customary court of appeal for re- allocation to another chief outside the Tawana chieftaincy.

The case is about the conflict regarding the estate of the late senior chief of Makalamabedi, kgosi Diako who died in 1997 and whose children have been at each other’s throat over the distribution of his estate for years.

The siblings who are all adults were in court on Tuesday hoping for their decade long feud to be resolved.

Accusing his two half brothers, Onalekitso and Wilfred Diako of harassment, Tsheko brought the matter to court.

Although the case could not proceed, the tension between the siblings was so intense that they could not hide the animosity during their short appearance in court.

Tsheko even claimed that she has received death threats from her brothers and had wanted to report them for threat to kill after the case.

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“This matter needs to be dealt with and settled once and for all and soon, especially now that I have received death threats,” she told the court.

COMPLAINANT: Sereko Tsheko

However her brother, Diako, said that even though he was the defendant in the matter, he equally wanted closure so he could move on with his life.

“For the past eight or seven years, I have not spoken to this woman (his sister), not even over the phone. Since our parents died we do not visit each other and she does not even know my 11 and 4 year-old children,” stated Diako.

He further argued that this is an old matter, which has always been deferred by Tawana customary court since kgosi Mathiba Moremi’s time.

“This is a tough case, which even kgosi Mathiba could not resolve. Every time we brought the matter forth we were told to go back home and resolve it amicably because the chiefs always felt conflicted due to the close relations they have with us.”

Kgosi Moremi died in 2010.

At the heart of the conflict is a family home in Mabudutsa ward near Maun bus rank, which was registered under one of the siblings, was bequeathed to demise of their mother in 2011.

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The family home is located in a prime land earmarked for development by the council and the family is likely to be paid handsomely for it when it is moved to give way for development.

The brothers argue that to bequeath the home to their sister was unfair.

Another bone of contention surrounds the father’s cattle, which were wiped out by cattle lung disease, which ravaged Ngamiland district a year before the old man’s demise.

Although a family member is adamant that the old man shared the monetary compensation among his children equally, his sons are not convinced and argue that he might have given some children more money and cattle than others.

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