The government has rejected Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela deputy ParamountChief, Bana Sekai Linchwe a contractextension, this was revealed during akgotla meeting held in Mochudi over theweekendSekai, who has not been ongood terms with the governmentsubsequent to hiscriminal cases before the courtsof law, will turn 60 on July 17th,and according to the Public ServiceAct, he should retire. The Actonly allows one to continue on hisposition if he/she is hired on a fi veyear renewable contract. Sekai’srefutation letter from the Ministryof Local Government and RuralDevelopments, dated June 11th,means that the government wouldno longer recognise him as a civilservant come July 17th.
“But I will still retain my seat asthe chief here! Remember, I wasnot appointed by the governmentinto this position. I was appointedby Kgosikgolo Kgafela Kgafelaand he is the only person who canoust me,” Sekai told members ofthe tribe who had attended themeeting. Among the attendeeswere delegates from South Africawho are said to be working closelywith Kgosikgolo Kgafela.According to Sekai, he wrote aletter to the ministry early Januaryinforming Minister Peter Sielethat he would be 60 in July, andasked for a contract extension. Hesaid there was no response for avery long time, something whichhe said was unusual. Sekai isadamant that his differences withsome members of the royal family,especially Mothibe Linchwefuelled the government’s decision.
He said that he was servedhim with the rejection letter justthree days after Mothibe’s threatsfrom the previous meeting thathe would take the matter into hishands.“If the government has promisedany of my opponents my chairit would be a shame upon that individual.And I hope that individualis not anyone from the royal family,”he charged, adding that themove was long planned. He saidthat the government was politicisingbogosi and working tirelesslyto disarm and silence dikgosi.“They say everyone has freedomof speech, but in true essence theymean, freedom of speech save fordikgosi. Nowadays everything intheKgotla is political,” he pointedout.Voicing out their comments, theBakgatla tribe shared the samesentiments with their leader thatthe government letter serves nopurpose in their chieftainship.One, Letoboloko Pheto said;
“Thegovernment does not have thepowers to remove you from thisseat. Their job was only to payyou, but even if they decide tostop paying you, that does not affectyour position.”One of the delegates from SouthAfrica, Ramono Linchwe saidthe rejection letter from the ministryserved no purpose as far asthe Bakgatla chieftainship is concerned.“You should continue withyour job though they would not bepaying you. And you would not bethe fi rst chief not to be under thegovernment payroll,” he advisedSekai, and further urged Bakgatlato support him until Kgafela returns.“Kgafela should fi nd himwhere he left him,” he stressed.Contacted for comment, MinisterSiele said he would not discussthe matter with the media because,he said, it is a personal issue.