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Sexaxa’s sigh of relief

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Two-teacher school opens in settlement

Seven-year-old Innocent Monnawatsheko sighs with relief as he recalls the daily journey he and his schoolmates from Sexaxa settlement had to endure to get to school in 2019.

Now that Africa Foundation, a non-profit organisation from South Africa, has built them a school in their area, the little boy and his friends no longer have to walk the 10km round trip to Maun-based Matlapana Primary School.

That part of his life is over, at least for now.

“I am happy now that I can study without dozing off in class while the teacher is talking. The walking made me tired!” exclaims Monnawatsheko, shaking his head vigorously at the memory.

The youngster, who wants to be a police officer when he grows up, speaks with admirable maturity as he reflects on the hardships of last year.

“I did not enjoy waking up too early and walking in the sun. But I wanted to get educated so that I can help my parents build a nice house when I find a job after finishing school. So I had no choice but to go to school.”

Now doing Standard 2 at the newly opened satellite school, Monnawatsheko is enjoying lessons.

“I used to get very hungry on the way to and from school. But here it’s okay, it is closer to home.”

The two-classroom block was opened last week in Sexaxa for Standard 1 and 2 pupils, thanks to Africa Foundation’s donation of almost US$90,000 (P900, 000).

Founded in 1992, the foundation is an independent, tax-exempt organisation whose purpose is to uplift, up-skill and empower identified rural communities near core conservation areas

North West District Council chairman, Kebadiretse Ntsogotho, is hopeful the donor will construct more classrooms to absorb older students and make it a fully-fledged primary school in the near future.

“It is a good gesture and as the council we are grateful for the generous donation. It means a lot for the educational development of Sexaxa children as the long walk was strenuous on the pupils, especially the younger ones,” noted Ntsogotho.

For many years children from Sexaxa travelled to Maun for school. Ntsogotho is adamant this is the cause of the high rate of failure in the area.

A 34-year-old resident of the small settlement, Ikanyeng Abueng vividly remembers how her education suffered because of the long walk to school.

NEWLY EMPLOYED: Abueng

“I did all my primary, junior and senior secondary schooling in Maun. I walked from Sexaxa every day and only rested during school holidays. I did not enjoy it at all because most of the time I left home without breakfast.”

Abueng has welcomed the new school with open arms, especially as it has provided her with work as a cleaner.

“I was lucky to get a job here. After a long time I have a salary and count myself among the employed,” she declared proudly.

Abueng’s 12-year-old daughter is doing Standard 7 and stays in Chanoga with her father. Mother and daughter have had to be separated to save the young girl the gruelling walk to Matlapana Primary School.

“She started school in Chanoga because I did not want her to endure the same ordeal as me. I wanted her to enjoy school,” explained Abueng.

Yet another parent, Lesego Kebonyewetsho expresses delight at the opening of the school.

“The distance was hard for these children. Even a heart of a strongman went out to these children, especially in winter and rainy days.”

RELIEVED DAD: Kebonyewetsho

The area councillor, Kobamelo Baikgodisi believes the new school will help reduce the teacher/student ratio at Matlapana Primary, whose intake stands at 1, 000 pupils instead of the recommended 600.

“The classes are full and this means the teaching is compromised as well. With the construction of more classrooms, the current 1:43 teacher-to-student ratio is expected to drop,” Baikgodisi predicted hopefully.

GRATEFUL: Councillor Baikgodisi

However, with the Sexaxa school currently only going up to Standard 2, Monnawatsheko and his friends could be on the road again next year.

For now though, that is the last thing on their young minds.

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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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Montshiwa’s murder trial yet to start

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Trial date for the late Fairground Holdings Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Michael Montshiwa’s murder case has been postponed as Judge Michael Mothobi is on sick leave.

The main suspect in this matter attorney David Modise and his co-accused- a traditional doctor Tumelo Tshukudu, today appeared at the Gaborone High Court for mention and confirmation of trial dates.

The 35-year-old lawyer is linked to the death of his client, Montshiwa, and he is facing another charge of stealing by agent.

He is currently out on bail awaiting trial.

Montshiwa was shot and killed on the 18th of October, 2015 at his house in Block 6 Gaborone.

It is said that Modise was the last person to communicate with Montshiwa just minutes before the CEO’s fatal shooting.

Police investigations revealed that between June 30 and October 17, 2015, Modise withdrew about P245 000 from Montshiwa’s Trust account.

The money according to the Investigating Officer Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo, was entrusted to Modise for the purchase of a plot for Montshiwa in Mogoditshane.

It is alleged that when Montshiwa realised that the money was missing from the Trust account, he communicated with Modise demanding to see him at his house on the night he was killed.

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DPP resuscitates 15 year ‘cold’ murder case

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Nearly fifteen years after he allegedly hacked three people to death, the wheels of justice have started turning and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) are reopening the files to bring murder suspect Mokolopi Mothusi to book.

The accused is facing a triple murder charge after he allegedly hacked to death a man, his wife, and their child with a tomahawk axe sometime in 2005 at Khonkhwa settlement near Jwaneng.

The matter appeared to have been forgotten for sometime, but on Monday the DPP reopened Mothusi’s files and he showed up in court walking with the aid of crutches.

Initially the matter was scheduled for trial for several dates in May but had to be postponed to December to allow the defense to locate witnesses.

“We are faced with a difficult matter here, so far the state had intended to call 20 witnesses, but we are informed that five of them have since died. We will also need time to locate our witnesses who are scattered somewhere in the desert,” said attorney Tengo Rubadiri who is defending Mothusi.

The matter was postponed and trial dates have been set for December 10th up to 15th 2020.

Meanwhile, in a separate matter, Kagiso Sejamabogo will have to wait a bit longer in prison before he is granted bail pending appeal of his 17-year prison sentence for various offences.

Although he has been in prison since 2012, Sejamabogo will have to wait until June before the High Court hears his appeal because a typist who was recording his case record at Molepolole Magistrates Court has been transferred to Mochudi.

Since 2018, Sejamabogo has been trying to get his case record from the court but the staff have been too busy with other engagements at the expense of his agonizing prison remand.

Justice Michael Leburu ordered the Molepolole Court Clerk to avail the record on the 29th of May and that the appellant will present his argument on June 22nd.

The appellant has had his prison term reduced to 11 years and has so far served eight years in prison.

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