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Ramaphosa apologizes to BDP, Masisi

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  • Sends team led by Minister of International Relations
  • Ramaphosa was desperate to apologize – BDP source
  • Masisi says relations between the two countries remain solid

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

South Africa and also African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa has apologized to President Mokgweetsi Masisi and the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what has been viewed as ‘gross interference’ by some ANC members in the BDP’s internal politics.

Last week Thursday, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations & Cooperation, Lindiwe Sisulu conveyed a message from President Cyril Ramaphosa to President Masisi in Gaborone. Masisi, through his social media platforms described the special message as “reiterating the long standing and excellent relations subsisting between Botswana and South Africa”, also adding that “The message assured that despite the recent media reports, relations between the two countries remain solid.”

Despite omitting other details from Ramaphosa’s message, this publication has learned that the SA President expressed disappointment with the conduct of some of ANC’s senior members prior to the BDP Presidential elections. BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi, a fortnight ago told members of the media that his party will soon engage with their SA counterparts regarding the conduct of some of its members. He said Masisi was due for a meeting with Ramaphosa at ‘national level’ while he and ANC Secretary General Ace Magashule would meet at ‘party level’.

Balopi told The Botswana Gazette this week that he had held his one of many meetings with Magashule in relation to this issue. His response on the progress of the ongoing negotiations was “we are still talking.”

BDP’s sub-communication chairperson Kagelelo Kentse confirmed that part of the contents from Ramaphosa’s letter was the assurance from Ramaphosa and the ANC backing Masisi’s government and leadership.

“Ramaphosa had wanted to meet President Masisi in person before going to Qatar but it was impossible. This week he sent a team led by the Minister of International Relations & Cooperation to deliver his message. The letter mainly focuses on the two countries internationals relations, Ramaphosa also wanted to assure President Masisi that he has his and the ANC’s full backing,” said the BDP head of communications.

“His message was very clear that as a government and ANC they do not condone such conduct of those said ANC members. He made it clear that he and the ANC are and were not part of those who tried destabilizing the BDP,” he added.

Despite this admission of guilt by the ANC and Ramaphosa, sources close to the developments have suggested there is a very slim chance of the ANC taking disciplinary action against said members. Bridgett Motsepe, who was mostly fingered out by reports of sponsoring Venson Moitoi’s BDP Presidential bid, is the sister to Ramaphosa’s wife Tshepo Motsepe-Ramaphosa. Furthermore SA tycoon Patrice Motsepe, Ramaphosa’s brother in law, is reported to be one of President Ramaphosa’s chief financers ahead of the next month’s heated elections. Last year, Motsepe and his family, under his charity foundation, donated R3.5 billion aimed at helping with the contentious issue of land reform in the SA and the sustainable development goals, a course which Ramaphosa has consistently advocated for. Some obsevers in SA say this is likely to place the SA President in a very tight situation if he or the ANC take action against Bridgett.

MASISI, MOITOI SMOKE PEACE PIPE

Meanwhile, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s two warring factions are on the verge of reconciling, this is according to Moitoi and BDP sub-communication chairperson Kagelelo Kentse.

Late last week Moitoi through her twitter account revealed that she recently held a productive meeting with BDP Chairman and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane. The social media post read , “Yesterday, I had a productive meeting with the VP to continue the discussion on the road to reconciliation and unity within the BDP. We are one in our love for the BDP and for that, I commit here to do my part to achieve unity. Please do enjoy Easter with family. Be blessed.”

Moitoi confirmed that she was the actual writer of the post but could not divulge further particulars of the meeting. Nonetheless she revealed that she was the one who requested for the meeting with the VP.

Kentse also refused to reveal the contents of the meeting stating that the party is undergoing a very secret and sensitive processes.

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