Sunday, February 7, 2010

Meeting between the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security and Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla and his uncles

source: Republic of Botswana (6/2/10) TAUTONA TIMES no 1 of 2010
The Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President
"Democracy, Development, Dignity, Discipline and Delivery"

C4) 27/1/10: Re: 25/1/010 Meeting between the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security and Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla and his uncles.

Following reports of allegations of unlawful application of corporal punishment in the Kgatleng district, the Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, met with Kgosi Kgafela II of Bakgatla and his uncles, in his office on Monday 25th January 2010 for discussions.

The allegations are that Kgosi Kgafela II has given mephato unlimited authority resulting in mephato being more of a law unto themselves. Kgosi informed the Minister that the allegations with respect to the authority given to mephato are not true.

Kgosi also informed the Minister that after his installation on 15th October 2008, he had consultations with Bakgatla and agreed on some measures that should be implemented to address morafe's concerns on indiscipline and general lawlessness in Kgatleng. It is these measures, as agreed with morafe, that mephato were deployed to implement. Kgosi assured the Minister that his instructions to mephato were that the implementation of these measures should be in conformity with the law.

The Minister expressed support and appreciation for the use of mephato to assist the Botswana Police Service in the fight against crime, as this could be an effective community policing strategy.

The Minister informed Kgosi that measures taken which are complementary to the work of the Botswana Police Service are welcome and that it would be unfortunate if the mephato were to become a liability. The Minister further emphasized that all measures taken should be in full compliance with the Law, in line with the press statement issued by the Attorney General and that individuals who may be aggrieved by the application of such measures have an unfettered right to file complaints with relevant authorities. The Minister informed Kgosi that the Botswana Police are currently investigating some reports relating to the allegations.

The Minister requested Kgosi to address morafe and mephato to explain and clarify his instructions. In response Kgosi Kgafela II informed the Minister that he had already planned a Kgotla Meeting at which this will be done. The meeting was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere.

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