Sekai speaks
DIRECT: Bakgatla Chief, Kgosi Bana Sekai

*’Dikgosi should not engage in Politics’

*’I still believe in corporal punishment’

Kgosi Banna Sekai has not mellowed since his recent re-instatement as Bakgatla Chief.

Never one to hide his true feelings, Sekai has criticised Dikgosi that double as political figures, warning it could cause divisions amongst tribes.

Speaking to The Voice this week in an in-depth interview, the stern-faced 64-year-old chief said, “I am really not for Dikgosi who engage in politics. It is not good but I see it is fast becoming a trend locally.

“It has the potential to divide tribes,” he predicted darkly.

Expanding on his argument, Sekai went on to say, “Imagine if a Kgosi is mediating over an issue with someone who is from another party.

Chances of the Kgosi being partial are next to nothing. I do not understand why Dikgosi engage in politics, it’s really bad!”

Sekai’s mistrust of politics is as deep-rooted as it is intense.

He believes political undercurrents were behind the Assault and Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm charges he faced in 2010.

The newly re-appointed Kgosi had been accused of carrying out illegal floggings but was acquitted of all charges this July.

Commenting on his drawn-out ‘war with government’, Sekai remains adamant the charges and his subsequent arrest were because of his cousin, the Paramount Chief of Bakgatla, Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela’s feud with government.

Sekai was jailed for ten days for violating his bail conditions and is still unsure why he was sent to prison.

“My arrest and troubles with the law were all politically motivated. There is no other way about it. I was arrested because I did not abide by the bail conditions, but until now it is not clear as to which condition I violated!”

On the charges he faced, a dismissive Sakai said, “I have my peers around the country who used and still use corporal punishment as a way of discipline. Did they face the same fate as mine, nope – so really anyone can see there was a lot of influence in my troubles with the law!”

Asked if he still supports corporal punishment, Sekai hesitates for less than a second before replying, “I still do yes.”

Pausing to reflect over the question for a little longer, he adds, somewhat circumspectly, “But obviously this time around we would have to take a lot of factors into consideration. This time around we will preferably let the parents deal with the discipline part before we come in as the leadership.”

Commenting on whether he believes his brush with the law had an impact on the Kgatleng election results, in which the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) where widely rejected, Sekai said, “I cannot say for sure.

“But yes I do believe it may be one of the reasons why the BDP lost in most areas of Kgatleng, be it for MP or council seats.”

Finally, when quizzed on the potential reconciliation reputed to be brewing between his self-exiled cousin and President Ian Khama, Sekai replied, “All I know is they are on talking terms.

“KK (Kgafela) has not really told me what it is they talk about but he has told me that Khama has written to him and he has responded.”

However, Sekai warned the Bakgatla it will be a while before their Paramount Chief returns to his homeland.

“Kgafela is not coming back to Botswana anytime soon. He is still occupied with other work in South Africa and can only consider coming back to meet his people if and when government revokes his arrest warrant.”

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