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SDA factional wars reach High Court

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The High Court has ordered warring factions of the Seventh Day Adventist Church to go back to the drawing table to discuss their differences and settle for the middle ground.

This came after the church withdrew an urgent application it brought against three of its pastors – Dr Boitirelo Kabo, Phemelo Seboka, and Othibetse Nelson Simankane.

In their papers, the church accuses the pastors of unlawfully extending their term in office at a conference held from November 25-27th which decision was later reversed by the church on December 4th.

“The respondents are hereby interdicted and restrained from executing any duties purportedly bestowed on them on the 25th and 27th November 2019 because they are not supposed to be in these positions by the reason of the fact that they were not duly and lawfully elected,” the church papers read in part.

Dr Kenaope Kenaope who is the president of the Botswana Union Executive Committee (BUC), a governing body of the SDA said that in 2018 the church engaged the services of Mazars Forensics to conduct audit of the South Botswana Conference an organ of the church.

The audit was conducted for the period of January 1, 2015 to December 2016.

“On the 25th June 2019, at the applicants Special Executive Committee Meeting, it was stated that the report revealed gross negligence and control lapses by the SBC Administration and Treasury Department,” said DrKenaope.

The meeting resolved to report the matter to the police who then responded that they would collect SBC accounting files but there was resistance from the respondents.

“On account of refusal by respondents to provide the necessary documentation, the Botswana Police Service approached the Magistrates Court seeking an order compelling the SBC to comply accordingly.

In response to the court order, the SBC instituted proceedings against Botswana Police Service to stay the decision of the Magistrates Court pending its review.

The basis of such application is at this point still not understood by the applicant,” Dr Kenaope said in the papers.

Dr Kenaope said that the SBC proceeded to hold meetings in November 2019 where they were elected to another term in office despite legal action instituted by the church.

The applicant as the mother body governing the SBC considered the outcome of this November 2019 Session as illegal and contrary to the SBC constitution and bylaws.

It was raised that the respondents had passed an unconstitutional decision to self-appoint themselves and extend their term in office.

However, in their replying affidavits, the pastors denied any wrongdoing. They further denied that the BUC is the highest decision making body of the church saying its mandate is to give direction and to ensure that the church’s standards are complied with.

“The applicant ought to have pointed out by way of clear averments why it thinks or believes it possesses highest decision-making powers,” they said.

The pastors say that the country is divided into two – South Botswana Conference and North Botswana Conference to ensure that they run the SDA Church in conformity with the ideals and beliefs of the church. They argue that the BUC is a separate entity.

The pastors further argue that BUC had no competence or jurisdiction to engage Mazars auditors and that the draft report and final report have not been presented to them or before the court.

“We as the executive committee of the SBC have always called upon the BUC to furnish a report of the audit being referred to and the BUC has consistently failed to produce same”.

The pastors argued that the SBC is an autonomous body with sufficient internal control and investigation capacity.

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Dr Gure’s anti climax

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Dr Gure's anti climax

Ministry of Health silences sex doctor

Celebrity Medical Doctor, Thusang Gure who has been dishing out explicit sex advice on social media has been cautioned to stop.

The young Doctor with more than 200 000 followers on Facebook had become a darling of many women who religiously followed his sex lessons.

Although he started his sex talk during a late night show at one of the radio stations, Gure shot to social media fame when he started posting videos about sex on Facebook.

However, the excitement that came with his talks was last week brought to a screeching halt by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, leaving thousands of his fans and followers high and dry.

Information gathered by this publication has indicated that the Ministry was concerned that Dr Gure was masquerading as a sexologist (a specialist in sexual matters) when he was a General Practitioner.

According to the source, Gure who runs Medexo Private Clinic is a General Practitioner but his talks gave people an impression that he was a specialist by focusing on a specific area of medicine, especially in public.

“What he was doing was clearly advertising and medical practitioners are not allowed to do that. The other problem is that he googles most of the information he passes on to unsuspecting followers as expert advice,” the source stated

Asked why they summoned Dr Gure to the ministry, Chief Medical officer, Goabaone Rainer Mosimanegape said, “We as the regulator called him for a meeting and asked him to work hand in hand with us. We want to guide him so that he doesn’t look like he is encouraging some things which are out of line.”

Mosimanegape said that the ministry’s meeting with Dr Gure shouldn’t be viewed as a gag on Gure as he is a reasonable young man who was likely to take advice to stay in his lane.

“We didn’t summon him, we simply called him for a meeting which can help him going forward,” Mosimanegape emphasized.

Meanwhile, Dr Gure denied having any knowledge of the meeting.

“I am unaware of any such issues involving myself and if my name is used in any of your publications without factual basis then I reserve my legal rights,” he said in his response when asked to confirm if indeed he was warned to stop posting salacious sex advice.

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Police question Councillor in poaching probe

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Umbrella for Democratic Change’s Councillor for Matlapana ward in Maun, Kobamelo Baikgodise, is among five men who have been questioned by Maun police over a buffalo poaching incident that reportedly took place in Khwai, about three weeks ago.

Baikgodise has however denied the arrest but said rather that he was summoned to the police station where he was questioned and wrote a statement over the incident which took place during the same weekend when he was in Khwai.

“As you may be well aware that I am friends with the Council Chairman, I had paid him a visit in Khwai during the weekend of the alleged poaching,” Baikgodise explained in a brief interview this week.

The Councillor stated that he had in fact taken the Council Chairman- Kebareeditse Ntsogotlho’s building material to Khwai and only went to the alleged poaching scene after Ntsogotlho’s injury.

“I was not at the scene, I was only alerted of his injury and that is when I went to the scene. I could not even talk to him because it was a bloody scene and he was in serious pain, so I did not even know what exactly happened that led to his injury,” Baikgodise explained.

The alleged poaching incident is still being investigated by the police who took the matter up following social media reports that the North West District Council Chairman, was attacked and injured by the buffalo early this month, during the extreme social distancing and movement lockdown.

Currently Ntsogotlho is hospitalised at Nyangabwe Referal Hospital where he is nursing thigh injuries.

Last week Ntsogotlho was hopeful that he would be released from hospital this week.

When shedding light on the matter, District No.5 police Commanding Officer, Peter Gochela, had stated that they have arrested and questioned some suspects on the matter but could not divulge names as they have not yet been charged.

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