What does gender have to do with chieftaincy?

Daniel Chida
REJECTED: Bone Gobusamang

Woman denied the right to lead

Fight over Bogosi jwa Thamaga heads to court

Gender and age has become the centre of reasoning by some chiefs in Thamaga as they attempt to block the late Kgosi Gobuamang Gobuamang’s daughter, Bone Gobuamang from ascending to the chieftaisnhip after her father’s death.

- Advertisement -

This week a meeting that was held in Thamaga to announce the names of those to be forwarded to government for consideration for Tribal leadership position of Bakgatla – Ba- Ga- Mmanaana failed to reach a consensus with many arguing that they cannot be led by a woman.

It is said that in November 2021, Gobuamang’s children Pinky, Bone and Tebogo informed the tribal leadership that they were ready to succeed their father.

They notified the leadership that the oldest sister, Pinky has bequeathed the tribal leadership position to her younger sister, Bone who is due to take over from Deputy Chief, Segale Gobuamang who was holding fort until a substantive successor could be appointed.

- Advertisement -

In their letter addressed to Kgosi Kgabosetso Donald Mosielele of Cutomary Court of Appeal and copied to Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, through their lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi of Ndadi Lawfirm, the trio said that at the time of the meeting, the acting Chief did not object to the move to pave way for Bone but only asked that they give their mother time to take off the black robe worn during the customary mourning period.

It is said that after that period, Kgosi Kgabosetso Donald Mosielele told the women that neither Pinky nor Bone can lead Bakgatla – Ba- Ga- Mmanaana because of their gender.

- Advertisement -

“He specifically stated that women cannot be dikgosi and the two were therefore ineligible,” read Ndadi’s letter.

The matter was complicated by the acting Chief, Segale who supported the motion. The two Chiefs are said to have pointed out that Bone did not have a Mophato and for one to be a Kgosi, they need to belong to Mophato.

- Advertisement -

“We advise that the barbaric practices of discriminating against women no longer have a place in modern day Botswana and such customs and norms if they still exist would not see the light of the day,” wrote Ndadi.

Ndadi further noted that his clients were disturbed by offensive and disparaging remarks that the leadership continue to use in describing Bone as too young to be a Kgosi. “She is an adult of full legal capacity aged 41 and cannot be said to be young,” explained Ndadi.

- Advertisement -

Meanwhile. Bone’s sister, Pinky who spoke on behalf of her family told this publication that they were now being forced to go the legal route and take this matter to court because they were being denied what is rightfully theirs.

“This matter was long agreed that my sister was to take over once the mourning period has passed but now people are bringing up stories to make up excuses about why she shouldn’t, but we will fight this matter to the end, they should not take us light,” said the fuming Pinky.

Leave a comment