Home Politically speaking In his brother’s footsteps

In his brother’s footsteps

In his brother's footsteps
AP SUPPORTER: Gape Motswaledi

Motswaledi considers running with the AP

Three years have passed since the fatal car crash that claimed the life of one of the country’s brightest young politicians, Gomolemo Motswaledi.

The 44-year-old’s death marked one of the darkest chapters in Botswana’s political history, with conspiracy theories insisting the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President had been murdered – rumours that persist to this day.

Now, with the BMD at its lowest ebb, Gomolemo’s younger brother, Gape Motswaledi was spotted at the launch of the newly formed Alliance for Progressives (AP).

This week, Voice reporter SHARON MATHALA caught up with the respected teacher to get his thoughts on the BMD’s infamous ‘bloody’ Bobonong congress which led to the party’s split.

During the interview, a forthright Gape admitted he would consider contesting for a seat at the upcoming general elections, exclusively revealing that if he does stand, it will be under the AP’s purple ticket.

Q. What went wrong with the BMD at Bobonong?

The happenings during and after the Bobonong congress were a culmination of so many things that had happened before.

There were signs, and they should have been avoided and stopped before Bobonong instead of imposing on each other physically to that level.

You do not wait until a situation escalates to a level of violence! The physical separation should have happened before Bobonong.

Q. As an influential figure within the BMD, did you approach the two factions for mediation?

I was not a member of the BMD so I could not come in as a figure that could be listened to on an official basis.

But I did have conversations with individuals from both factions. I asked them why they allowed the situation to escalate to the level it did.

Both factions did say they never thought it would come to that level.

Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is the BMD perpetrated violence – it is not a question of who threw the first stone!

Q. The UDC advised the two factions to consider a power sharing deal. Do you think that would have worked?

One would be suffering from a lack of logic to think a situation like this could be solved through a power sharing deal. It is no secret that tensions are still high.

Q. Do you agree with critics who believe that opposition leaders are only after power?

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. But I feel this is a simple way of looking at a complex matter.

No one wants a political movement that is distracted by the bickering of its supposed leaders.

If it calls for a separation for the good of the people then it should happen.

But then again, you do have to have a position so that you can change people’s lives.

If you want power to change people’s lives, I have no issues with that.

Q. Do you see the AP joining the UDC heading into the general election?

It’s simple really – if the UDC still maintains the course it was established for, we will join the UDC.

This is the time for UDC to introspect. There are expectations Batswana have of the UDC – they should introspect to see if they have not veered from their core mandate.

Q. You say ‘we’ – does this mean you are a member of the AP?

Yes, I am.

Q. Are you going to contest for any constituency seat?

I will not impose on anyone or any constituency. I am a very spiritual man so when the time comes, if it comes, then yes, I will contest for elections.

There are just over 17 months to go to the general elections; that is a lot of time for me to make the right decision!

Q. After the ‘bloody’ Bobonong congress, there were whispers that the report into your brother’s death would finally be released. Your views on this?

I, and I speak on behalf of the family, have not seen or heard anything about the so called ‘Motswaledi report’.

As far as I know, the party leadership did come to the family and asked that they conduct their own separate investigations on behalf of the public.

This is the only reason the family agreed to the investigation. But until today no one has ever come to us with an update about the report.

Q. But the public donated funds towards the investigation. Does the family know how much was given – there are reports that the donations amounted to millions?

Nyaa mma. We are not privy to such information. Really the family had no say in the investigations.

We had said that whether the outcome of the investigations will come with foul play or no foul play it would not bring back our Gomolemo.

So we were not really invested into the whole investigations.