A case in which a 28 year old white man of Disaneng ward in Maun was supposed to appear before Maun Customary Court last week Tuesday could not go ahead as the Batawana Senior Chief Representative Charles Letsholathebe refused to have the case before him saying he does not preside over white people’s cases.
Jay Remick Lackey was supposed to face a common nuisance case in which he insulted and threw stones and bottles at Shasha Radinoga. Letsholathebe made it clear to all parties concerned in the case that white people only appear in his court as complainant not accused person. He told the complainant to take his case Magistrate court.
“Ga re sekise makgowa gone fa,” was all the Chief could say before the Lackey’s case could be called. On Wednesday during an interview with Batawana’s Deputy Paramount Chief Bringle Dithapo, the Chief concurred with Letsholathebe saying it is not in their mandate to have white people prosecuted in their court.
“What if the sentence is lashing, you want us to lash a white man, no we can’t do that.” Dithapo then changed his statement saying it is not about lashing but just that they don’t preside over white people’s cases. “Tota rona ga re sekise makgowa.”
The complainant left the court fuming saying he was going to approach District Commissioner and Police Station Commander to help his case.
However a Customary Court President in Francistown, Motlatsi Kediseng said that the Batawana Chiefs erred in their judgement. He said that colour should not be used when dealing with cases. “Magosi were at fault. There is no provision that a white person cannot be prosecuted in the customary set up.”
Lackey who is the son of Pastor Jerry Lackey of Love Botswana Church is facing a common nuisance charge after he hit Radinoga’s car from behind before throwing stones and bottles at it. Narrating his story to The Voice, Radinoga said that he warned Lackey who was trying to join a road not to because as the one with the right of way he was already nearer.
“Instead of apologising he hurled insults at me, when I stopped to ask why he was being rude he hit my car from behind.” Radinoga said he panicked and drove away but Lackey who looked drunk chased him.
“I had to ask for assistance at the Botswana Defence Force barracks after more than five kilometres chase.”
Radinoga said that on the way the Lackeys threw stones at his car and caused some minor damages. “I had to protect my family. My kid and wife were crying and it is by luck that the windows didn’t break.”