Senior tribesmen in Kgatleng on Monday spurned an invitation to a meeting with Local Government Minister, Lebonaamang Mokalake.
The Bakgatla tribal leadership has closed ranks around their de-recognized Paramount Chief Kgafela Kgafela II who says the minister’s decision to call the meeting was “insincere and self-serving”.
Mokalake last week invited at least ten of Kgafela II‘s uncles to a meeting at his office on Monday, but failed to disclose the agenda.
“The presence of Kgafela II’s uncles at this meeting will be greatly appreciated. The Tribal Secretary is by copy hereof advised to organize transport if necessary,” said Mokalake in his letter, dated October 28th.
Mokalake’s open invitation coincided with a shocking announcement, in which he derecognized Kgafela II as Bakgatla paramount chief. Speaking to The Telegraph on Monday, Mokalake confirmed that Kgafela II’s uncles have declined to attend his meeting, saying they were given short notice.
However, sources close to Kgafela II indicate that the answer given to Mokalake was not as polite as he puts it. While Mokalake said the uncles said they were given short notice, it has emerged that they have not set a different date for the meeting.
In his reply to Mokalake’s invite on Friday, Kgafela II dismissed Mokalake as a joke who wants to lead this country into anarchy.
He said Mokalake’s letter calling a meeting is insincere and self-serving in that it desires to give an impression that he has attempted dialogue when the reality is different. Kgafela II said Mokalake contradicted himself when he derecognized him as paramount chief and immediately sought an audience with his uncles.
“Mokalake is truly a joke. I am not an employee of his government. He has never had any authority over me and he will never have in his wildest dreams. His letter is therefore inconsequential,” he said.
He described Mokalake as a coward who has repeatedly avoided his invitation for a meeting.
“I have nothing more to communicate with him, save only what I will discuss with him in the High Court. In the first place, he has not followed his own colonial laws which say he must give someone an audience before apparently drastic decisions are taken against him. It’s called due process,” said Kgafela II.
He said Mokalake is living in his personal world of illusions if he thinks he can end his leadership by a stroke of a pen when he has been enthroned by Bakgatla. The Telegraph is informed that the animosity between Kgafela II and Mokalake is fuelled by personal differences. Indications are that Kgafela II’s attitude towards Peter Siele is thawing. Siele took over from Mokalake yesterday (Tuesday). Kgafela II has also expressed willingness to meet and discuss with President Ian Khama.
“I must emphasize that it is absolutely essential that I speak to Kgosi Ian Khama. Otherwise, the likes of Rre Mokalake and his team of chaos generators are going to lead this country into chaos and anarchy,” said Kgafela II.