It has since surfaced that civil servants are some of the people that contributed handsomely towards a fund that paid the legal debts of Gomolemo Motswaledi, the interim chair of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
Motswaledi says he is grateful to the multitudes of Batswana who risked their careers, businesses and livelihoods by contributing towards a fund that was set up to raise money to pay his legal costs.
The costs are a part of a case that Motswaledi lost after he took President Ian Khama to court, challenging the President’s powers among others.
In an interview with The Sunday Standard, Motswaledi said there is no doubt that there is a lot of political fear and that it took a lot of courage, especially among the civil servants, to make contributions.
“I am grateful that despite fear people came forward ÔÇô civil servants, business people and everybody else. It was certainly not easy for all of them and I am happy that all this is now behind us.”
He said even as time was ticking for the deputy sheriffs to pounce on him, he never for a moment doubted that the situation would be resoled.
“Batswana are a very resilient people. I have drawn comfort from the knowledge that as Batswana we know that we have a greater race to run, which is to free our country. I draw solace from the knowledge that truth will set us free,” he said.
Answering the extent to which he was worried about the personal sacrifices he had made and was, as a result, about to lose his property for a case that in principle was not his alone, Motswaledi said it is important to remember that there are people who have lost their lives.
“What does it matter losing utensils when other people have lost lives?” he asked rhetorically.
While his Deputy had at one point said Motswaledi may as well go back to his job at the University of Botswana if people could not bail him out, the Botswana Movement for Democracy interim chair said he had never for a second thought of taking up his job at the University.
“I am Gomolemo Motswaledi. My drive does not derive from my profession. People have lost their lives. How can I cry when I lose a few material things?” he said.
This week supporters and sympathizers of Motswaledi were able to raise over P500 000 to help pay legal costs.
Close to P350 000 went to the legal team that represented Ian Khama while P200 000 went to Motswaledi’s Senior Counsel.
He said with many obstacles now behind, the task for his BMD is to fight for the dignity and civil liberties of Batswana.
“There is a sense of hope that progress has been made. I have every confidence that we are on the right track,” he said from Johannesburg.
On whether or not he has ever had an opportunity to interact with President Ian Khama since their big fallout, Motswaledi said even during the days when they belonged to the same party they were not close.
“Only on very rare occasions would we interact. But not since then! I suppose he [Khama] is busy in his own and I am busy building the Botswana Movement for Democracy.”