Monday, April 22, 2024

Botswana’s political movements to shun Mandela’s funeral

Political movements and trade unions in Botswana will not attend Mandela’s funeral, expected to attract scores of leaders from across the globe.

With hundreds of leaders converging on South Africa, leaders from Botswana, who often like to be associated with Mandela’s African National Congress, say they will simply send condolences.

Botswana Movement for Democracy President, Gomolemo Motswaledi, said they have not received any invitation and therefore will not attend. “This thing hinges on whether you have received an invitation or not. To the best of my knowledge, the secretariat office has not received any correspondence,” said Motswaledi.

However, he confirmed that his party had sent the condolences letter. He said even the UDC had not received an invitation.
“We hope we will be able to attend. The party is making such preparations,” commented BNF secretary for International affairs, Kwenantle Gaseitsiwe.

The BCP secretariat, through Akanyang Magama, would neither confirm nor deny their attendance. “For now, I can’t say yes or no. The leadership is still consulting,” said Magama.

Secretary General for the BDP, Mpho Balopi, was also unclear and evasive saying, “We hear the Mandela family is alleged to have said they want a closed family funeral kind-of. As such we do not know to what extent people would be allowed.”

He further explained that the President attended the Memorial Service, and all Ministers and Central Committee members have signed the condolences book, adding to the Friday message they sent to the Mandela family, ANC and South African government. Also to miss the funeral is the trade union federation, BOFEPUSU. In a telephone interview, Johnson Motshwarakgole said, “We can’t manage, because we have not met of recent owing to our various commitments. The leaders have just arrived from Italy. Our schedule has been a tight one. But this is subject to confirmation”.

Many of political movements in Botswana have always fought for ANC’s attention, claiming to have contributed immensely contributed to the anti-apartheid struggle in South-Africa. Their notable absence from the legend’s funeral will be pointing to a different direction, contrary to what they have been preaching. Mandela will be laid to rest on the 15th December 2013 in his home village of Qunu.


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