- Masisi, Minister Moagi called Seboko to OP to discuss the Gov’t-BaLete land dispute
- President Masisi and Minister Moagi fear electoral backlash from BaLete
- The President allegedly promised to intervene after judgement
- Seboko would rather not speak about the meeting
In the spring of 2021, around a time when the government had just taken a decision to stem celebration of BaLete land victory by appealing the High Court judgement, Minister Lefoko Moagi invited Kgosi Mosadi Seboko to State House for a meeting with President Mokgweetsi Masisi to discuss the matter, The Botswana Gazette has established.
Insiders say the interests of the President and the MP for Ramotswa in the matter were solely selfish as their concerns were centred around the political ramifications of the land dispute between the state and Batswana. But from the meeting, there was one thing that was to remain a secret: that the meeting ever took place and what its subject was.
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette, the ever-outspoken and media-savvy Kgosikgolo of BaLete seemed to confirm this by refusing to answer any question pertaining to the meeting. Any such attempt was met with this refrain: “Can I request that I don’t answer any questions relating to that meeting or the President?”
The Press Secretary to the President, Batlhalefi Leagajang, has not been of any help either when asked about the meeting and its agenda, choosing to answer with a question about whether The Gazette had already spoken with Kgosi Mosadi in what sounded like a fishing expedition for uniformity in responding to the question.
Nevertheless, sources say at that meeting President Masisi told the Sovereign of Ba-Ga-Malete not to worry about the case because he would intervene at a later stage to give BaLete what belonged to them because the ruling Botswana Democratic Party had already realised that the case may have undesirable effects on the then impending general elections of 2024.
“But Kgosi Seboko was not happy with this and took time to inform his attorney, Tshiamo Rantao, that she would have to go public with the matter but Rantao advised her not to do so,” said a source who did not elaborate much. “Attorneys Bogopa and Manewe also visited her and gave her the same advice that she should not go public.”
But Busang Manewe has denied ever meeting Kgosi Mosadi and any knowledge of the BaLete land case. Both Manewe and Rantao have represented the ruling party and the government respectively in recent times. Moagi and Rantao’s phones rang unanswered at the time of going for press.
In May last year, a panel of three High Court justices, Chris Gabanagae, Gabriel Komboni and Michael Mothobi, had ruled that a 200 hectare of portion of Farm Forest Hill 9-KO is under the ownership of GaMaLete Development Trust and the BaLete tribe.
However, by August the Attorney General had taken over the case from Gamalete Land Board as it is now appealing the decision of the High Court. In its appeal application, the Attorney General says the High Court erred in finding that the land held in terms of Transfer Number 387 in respect of the Remainder of Farm Forest Hill 9-KO vested not in MaLete Land Board but in the BaLete tribe.
According to the Attorney General, in Quarries of Botswana (Pty) Ltd vs GaMaLete Development Trust and Others 2011 BLR 497, the court had found that ownership of that land did not vest in the BaLete tribe.