Thamaga residents are frustrated that despite many attempts to curb juvenile delinquency in the village, the situation is not getting any better as crimes committed by young people are on the increase. Some aggrieved residents blame the village chief Kgosi Gobuamang Gobuamang for failing to punish the perpetrators accordingly.
One furious villager told The Gazette that the Kgosi is neglecting his duties as he always assigns headmen to handle cases, who in turn leave matters unresolved because they have no powers. The furious villager further said they have asked the area Member of Parliament Reverend John Seakgosing and councilor Molatedi Selala to talk to him but they failed because they are afraid of him.
Another villager said it is for this reason that Thamaga youth are delinquent. He said that the headmen do not whip offenders because the law does not allow headmen to administer corporal punishment. He also said sometimes cases are referred to the Kgosi by the Police, but because Gobuamang is negligent, offenders always walk free. He said he was disheartened when Gobuamang referred a case in which a man had assaulted two women was brought to him and he passed it to a Kgosana who could not administer corporal punishment and let the offender go scot-free.
Contacted for comment, the area councilor Tona Selala said he has not received any reports from villagers about the Kgosi not doing his job. Selala said the problem could be that the Kgosi has less power nowadays. He also said Dikgosana could handle any matter assigned to them by the Kgosi under his Kgotla.
He said chiefs have limited powers hence the issue should be addressed by the Police, as they are the number one custodians of Botswana law. He called on the Police to do more to take control of the situation. He also urged the Police Commissioner to do something and engage other security organs as the situation is not getting any better despite corporal punishment at the Kgotla. Selala said the youngsters were very clever in their mischief as they attend all Kgotla meetings to get information on how the villagers intend to deal with them and devise counter strategies. He further called on parents to play a part in curbing crimes committed by their children.
Efforts to get a comment from Kgosi Gobuamang were unsuccessful, as he would not be interviewed over the phone.
Thamaga villagers have of late been living in fear following a spate of robberies, muggings and vandalism by youth gangs identified as Merubisi (owls) whose weapons of choice are sticks and stones. In one of the incidents, a group of about 50 youngsters armed with stones and sticks forced their way into a bar before emptying fridges and smashing beer bottles on the floor and breaking all windows. As if that was not enough, the gang then proceeded to randomly assault people in the village.