Minister Seretse’s tactical approach leaves Kokong villagers more angry and baying for blood
The Minister of Justice, Defence and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse left Kokong residents in Ngwaketse West simmering with rage after denying them dialogue during a Kgotla meeting last Saturday.
The Minister went to Kokong at the request of residents to address a witchcraft talk over an alleged ritual killing/suicide or missing-man-turned-Zombie. However, he refused to take any questions from the obviously eager crowd, as he feared it could provoke emotions and aggravate tempers that could possibly lead to a big ruckus.
“I would not say what I wanted to in front of this meeting. I do not want to provoke emotions. I will call the royals and the reporter (family representative) aside. There will be no questions in this matter. This is not a trial and I do not wish us to restart this talk. Please bear with me as I know we are all affected in different ways but we do not have enough police officers here to calm this crowd,” the Minister pointed out.
The issue was about Ogorogile Bonane, a man whose half body corpse was found hanging on a tree last October a few days after he went missing. The village believes he was turned into a Zombie. However a pathologist report identified a shell of ribs and skull, which was found hanging on a tree outside the village as a positive match to Bonane. The post mortem failed to identify the nature of his death as his body was found decomposed.
“I hear you, but I am not going to adjudicate over the matter. From what I gathered from the reporter, what was buried was not a human corpse (the crowd agreed in unison), and you believe it because so and so said they know where the missing person is,” the crowd roared again in accord before the Minister added that, “what I can remind you is that you cannot disprove professional findings with your layman’s opinion. Things can be disqualified by those that can match them. “
But Kokong residents were disappointed and talks of violence were openly declared after the meeting.
“If he was eaten by the animals as this report says then his trousers would have been torn because the legs and waist were missing. We found the trousers and shoes put neatly down and we could not help but wonder what a neat hyena it must have been which can undress a person and put the trousers neatly down before eating and taking extra food for its offspring’s,” Tuelo Zulu, representing Bonane’s family had earlier reported their grievance to the Minister. In fact he was the one referred to as the reporter by the Minister.
Zulu added that “there is no way a three day old dead body could be as dry as a biltong and not stink. This report (of the DNA tests) could have been written to deceive us because it is not supposed to be questioned,” Zulu said.
Bonane’s uncle, Tumiso Noko was among a delegate sent by Kokong to summon the Minister. He says he was shocked by the Minister’s failure to address the matter.
“As an elder we called him to address the matter and he tells us he does not want to provoke emotions. Just listen to his talk! He knew before coming here the kind of emotions we were going through and we called him to soothe them. It was no secret people told him that they were emotional and we did not even hear why he came all the way here for,” Noko expressed his rage.
In fact the 56-year old uncle feels betrayed by the Minister.
“The Minister has failed us. Today he is telling us not to talk or ask any questions lest we provoke tempers. He is talking about protecting the culprits, protecting the rich people who have kidnapped our son. Just listen to his logic. He says because my sister is poor, therefore if we talk bad about the rich they can drag us to court and sue us,” Noko’s temper was flaring.
Another speaker, Oletetswe Pitso suggested that Kokong residents send another delegate to President Ian Khama Seretse Khama so that the matter is discussed once and for all.
“People have confessed to taking part in this thing,” said Pitso.
However the people who are said to have made confessions to the village chief, Kgosi Maologa Moalafi had long denied the allegations and said they had been misinterpretation by the chief and the whole village.
See this week’s Real Lives