Makwate residents drag govt to court over bogosi dispute

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LETLHOGILE MPUANG

Residents of Makwate village in the Central District have taken the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development to court, for going against their wishes in appointing the village’s Headman/Kgosi.

This publication is in possession of a 30 day Statutory Notice dated November 27 2018, by Samuel Moremi (First Applicant) and Jack Lekoma (Second Applicant) through their lawyer Yandani Boko stating intentions to bring legal proceedings against the Ministry of Local Government (First Respondent), Motswaodi Diau (Second Respondent) and the Attorney General (Third Respondent).

The Notice indicates that “Sometimes in 2015, Kgosi Lefatho Lesenyamotse of the Makwate community resigned after being a Kgosi for a period more or less than thirty four (34) years. He was elected by the community to represent them. From that period the community was without a leader/Headman of record.”

It states that a year later, the community decided to elect a new Kgosi, and as a result Moremi was nominated by the majority of the wards to lead the people of Makwate.

“Sometimes on 24 February 2016 there was another Kgotla meeting at the Makwate Kgotla whereat the majority of the wards nominated the 1st Applicant (Samuel Moremi) to be their headman of record. Sometimes on 16 November 2016, the village members’ were summoned to their Kgotla whereat Kgosi Serola Seretse was addressing the village members and advising them that he was sent to be given a name of the person who the community wanted as their headman of record. The said Seretse then left and promised to come and inform the members that the name was accepted. The name of the 1st Applicant (Samuel Moremi) was given as the preferred name,” reads the notice to the Attorney General.

According to the Notice, on 25 April 2017, Seretse returned to Makwate Kgotla and asked the villagers on why they had decided to turn against the initial name. It is claimed that the morafhe then resubmitted Moremi’s name to present it to Kgosi Sidiegeng Kgamane for approval by the Minister of Local Government.

“The community of Makwate have through letters invited the 1st Respondent (Ministy of Local Government) to come and address them in relation to the issue of bogosi. The 2nd Respondent (Motswaodi Diau) wrote a letter to the Mokhubame family as well as the people of Makwate informing them that she had received their letter and that the complaint had been directed to the Department of Tribal Administration Headquarters for them to expeditiously respond. There was never such response until the appointment of Mr Motswaodi Diau through a letter dated 3rd October 2018. The said Diau was never a preferred candidate from the people of Makwate. Further, the community of Makwate were never consulted prior to his appointment.

The Applicants and the community of Makwate aver that the appointment of the 2nd Respondent was unprocedural, unlawful, and illegal as chieftainship has always been determined through elections. As such the community seeks the judicial review of the decision of the 1st Respondent as the appointment was marred with controversy, unprocedural, unlawful and illegal.”

Boko told this publication at the time of going to press that the Ministry had not responded to their notice to sue. The 30 days set on the statutory notice will expire on December 27th 2018. Boko says should the 30 days period elapse, they will institute an application with the High Court seeking to side aside the appointment of Motswaodi Diau.

When reached for comment, the Minister in charge of Local Government Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi said she was aware of the matter, but was constrained to comment as their legal department is dealing with the matter.