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Borolong residents suspicious of Kgosi Radipitse

Kabelo Dipholo
DISGRUNTLED: Borolong residents

Tempers are expected to flare at Borolong’s Mpatane ward this morning at a kgotla meeting convened by Kgosi Bokamoso Radipitse of Tonota.

The kgotla meeting will be a continuation of the one that was called off last week following a mysterious call to the youthful chief.

Top on the agenda will be the Shongochena battle, an issue that has pitted the village against their neighbours in Chadibe.

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In last week’s meeting Radipitse had wanted residents to vote for the disputed area’s chief by show of hands, a request that was frowned upon by Kgosi Israel Molema of Borolong.

The soft spoken chief told Kgosi Radipitse that they will not take part in the elections as, to their knowledge, they had already submitted the names of Keletso Mpatane as the rightful heir.

On Friday Molema gathered his subjects to tell them about a planned Tuesday meeting. “I don’t know what the agenda is because Kgosi Radipitse didn’t specify and I also did not enquire. I however hope he’ll be here to put an end to the Shongochena issue,” he said.

Residents made their views clear that they were not happy that they were going to a meeting whose agenda they didn’t know. “What if we are told to vote and we’re not prepared,” asked a seemingly concerned resident.

An unimpressed Blade Maruatona of Basimane ward told the gathering that the matter will never be resolved because Kgosi Radipitse had clearly taken a side. “This matter was long settled. Former Minister of Local Government Lebonamang Mokalake and Bangwato Regent Sediegeng Kgamane ruled in our favour and declared Shongochena part of Borolong,” he said.

“There’s only one man standing against us. Radipitse should tell us what he has against us,” charged Maruatona.

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Maruatona was referring to a 2011meeting by the then Minister Mokalake who, after listening to both parties, decided that the disputed ward belonged in Borolong.

This decision was not welcomed by Chadibe residents who registered the matter with the High Court in 2013. “What most people are not aware is that Chadibe withdrew their court case which means ruling by both Kgamane and Mokalake stands,” said Mpatane.

Mpatane said Chadibe residents are still using a court order which was rescinded a long time. “It’s a pity a lot of people are not aware of this, and some scheming residents are using their ignorance to cause confusion,” she said.

“We should all refuse to vote because this matter was long settled. What we need are copies of the letter Chadibe wrote to the High Court withdrawing the matter,” said another concerned resident Wabuya Lentswe.

The concerned Lentswe said his main worry was that most young people in Borolong seemed indifferent to such matters even though they threaten to disturb the village peace. “We must develop interest in learning about the history of our village or else we risk losing our heritage,” he said.

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In a meeting that lasted three hours, residents reached a consensus that they will boycott any kind of elections ordered by Kgosi Radipitse.

“We already have a name, and its Kgosi Keletso Mpatane,” said Lentswe.  

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