State media was instructed to cautiously deal with former president Ian Khama, it has emerged.
When answering a question from Selibe Phikwe-West Member of Parliament, Dithapelo Keorapetse at a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) session on government stance with regards to supporting and covering Khama’s events, the deputy director at information, Bonnie Matshaba said that there was no written communication but rather a verbal instruction from the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi.
In his first ever interviews with private media recently Khama, complained of lack of support from government including state media, something which he is entitled to as a former head of state.
Responding to Dithapelo, Matshaba said; “There is no written instruction but what I can confirm is that there has been some concerns with regards to some comments made by the former President Khama, so we have been advised to use editorial discretion when covering him.”
Pressed further to clarify his statement, Matshaba who was under oath was at first reluctant to say on record who issued to instruction and or concerns but later confirmed that it was Morupisi.
“The PSP (Morupisi) was the one who told us to do so.He raised concerns about some of the statements made by Khama, like what happened in Bobonong when he (Khama) made comments about Minister Shaw Kgathi,” confirmed the Deputy director of Information who further pleaded with the PAC bench that he (Matshaba) did not wish to go into detail on the matter.
Meanwhile Permanent Secretary at the Office of the President Thuso Ramodiosi said Khama was entitled to any mode of transport adding that it was however up to President Mokgweetsi Masisi to approve or turn down the request.
“There are some instances where permission was approved and there are instances where he was not granted permission,” he said in apparent reference to when Khama was denied access to government aircraft.