Members of the public react to the ruling
Things took a dramatic turn on Wednesday when the paramount chief of Bakgatla Ba Ga Kgafela, Kgosikgolo Kgafela II and 10 of his co-accused person disappeared into thin air.
This was after Gaborone Regional Magistrate Barnabas Nyamadzabo had ruled that Kgafela, his younger brother Kgosi Mmusi Kgafela, Bakgatla Deputy Chief Kgosi Sekai and 11 others be remanded in custody for 14 days awaiting trial.
Kgafela II and his tribesmen are charged with five counts of Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm emanating from the alleged illegal floggings that have become part and parcel of the Kgatleng area since Kgafela took the throne. Only Kgosi Sekai was in jail at the time of going to press.
Dubani-wa-Dubani took to the streets to get views of the people on the ruling that had been made to put the Chief and his men behind bars.
Naledi Peggy Modikanele
“Anyone who breaks the law should be prepared for the results. Kgafela and his men are subject to the law like anybody else and I hope Nyamadzabo’s ruling today will help others in positions of authority realise that they have no right to break any law and expect to get away with it. What is the reason for having the police and the courts if some people can go around arresting and beating people at will. Like the magistrate said policing should be left to the cops and punishment to those legally appointed to do so.”
“Kgafela’s intentions are good but I honestly think that he could have acted better in his attempts to bring some order to his people. I am a Motswana and I believe that flogging is an important part of our norms. Our laws also allow it provided it’s done properly. I believe it has a positive effect when properly used.”
“The whole saga is a shame. The impression it gives the world is that we are a nation that does not value its tradition and culture. The right to be heard before being punished is part of our tradition as is corporal punishment. I also blame our politicians for not giving back to Dikgosi the authority and respect they deserve after Botswana became independent. Kgafela is simply trying to revive values that can make us a better people. It’s a pity he has to go through all this”.
Obuseng Rapula Keeditswe
“Detaining Kgosikgolo it totally wrong. Tradition and culture give him the right to discipline his subjects and anybody in his territory in anyway he deems fit and this includes flogging. The government says it is concerned about crime, alcohol abuse and other undesirable things but when somebody tries to help he is sent to prison. If I could be allowed I would serve his sentence for him. Batswana especially Dikgosi should stand by him before we become an even more rotten nation of insolent children, irresponsible parents, thieves and murderous.