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A family at war

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A family at war
WANTS FAIR SHARE: Pony Hopkins

Siblings fighter over estate

A 15 year old feud over late parents estate is tearing a Mochudi family apart.

The ugly tension played itself before Mochudi customary court this week as family members exchanged counter accusations of betrayal and witchcraft before Kgosi Montshiwa Mabodisa when the siblings, Pony Hopkins and Dr Lucas Phiri Gakale took a stand before court.

Hopkins had dragged her brother to court over what she termed unfair distribution of their late parents’s estate. According to Hopkins, Gakale was selfishly benefiting from the estate and has caused division in “what used to be our home.”

Some of the property that Hopkins wants shared fairly include the parent’s house in Gaborone which is questionably under Lucas’ name, parent’s home in Mochudi, a ploughing field in Marapong, cattle and two rifles.

Hopkins told court that the conflict started around 2004 following their father, Nkopo James’s Phiri’s demise which was followed by the passing of his other two children, Setshwane Gakale and Nanki Bright.

She added that their mother tried to bring the remaining siblings together to no avail until she passed on in 2009. Their other sibling, Mpura Molatlhegi later died as well, leaving three siblings, Chiki Moganetsi and the two before court.

The main conflict is that although it was their parents’ wish to give the now late siblings some of the property, all the property is currently under Lucas’ control including the Gaborone house that was left for Bright’s children, the ploughing field and the two riffles.

“He now wants to sell the Gaborone house under questionable circumstances. He keeps claiming that our father told him this and that, where is the evidence!” Hopkins expressed anger.

A family at war
IN CONTROL: Lucas Phiri Gakale

The Mochudi home has since been given to the late Setshwane’s widow, Thesene Gakale and Hopkins stated that it was not a collective family agreement, but Lucas’ idea.

In response Lucas maintained that he gave the home to his brother’s wife because it was his parent’s wish.

“I was honouring the parent’s wish. Setshwane had wanted to build his house in Pilane where he had a residential plot, but my parents insisted that he build the house in their yard because they wanted him to take it,” Lucas told court.

He added that his sisters, Pony and Mpura (before demise) were openly against the idea because they were of the view that Thenese was a witch.

“Some bones were were unearthed at home and they insisted that they belonged to Thenese, but somebody explained that they could have been hidden by dogs as they habitually do that when they are full and want to save the bones for later,” Lucas further alleged.

At the time of going to print, the matter was still before court.