The Kweneng District Council chamber was temporarily turned into theatre Thursday, when Councilors welcomed a new child on the block, Mompoloki Mokgolele of Maboane Ward.
It all started when, as procedure dictates, the Chairperson read out the list of those Councilors who would contribute in the next item-comments on the Chairperson’s speech. One of the longest serving and most humorous members, Basi Kontle of Thamaga East stood on point of procedure and said he heard the name of the new Councilor being read – indicating that he would be the third speaker.
“Ke ne ke re aa dige dinao, o tla tla a bua ka council ya boraro, (I am suggesting that he keeps his cool until maybe the third sitting after this). He still does not know the procedures…” he said to murmurs and laughter.
But to that the acting Chairperson, Tshoganetso Leuwe, asked that the young man be given the opportunity. Not a long while later, the chamber was almost uncontrollable, with hands raised from all directions, accompanied by murmurs; members standing on points of procedure. They were craving to show the new comer that he was over doing it. His deliberations were focused on the problem back home in Maboane. He was still freshly determined to express the outcry of his electorates. That the current forum was more of policy discussions eluded him.
It was the Chairman, Motlhophi Leo’s request that perhaps triggered mocks. He had, at Mokgelele’s mentioning of his third item – the ceiling that was pilling off at Maboane Health Post – requested the young Councilor to pause and asked if there was anyone from the floor who could help him (Chairman) define procedure. The nominated Councilor, Patrick Patse Manthe, stood to try and explain that the newcomer was focusing on issues that are sub council material.
“We have as the longer serving members failed him. Our contributions were also ignoring the chairperson’s speech and we spoke a lot of issues that we could have debated at sub council level.”
Dux Mafoko of Mmankgodi raised his hand and stood on point of procedure, accusing Manthe of attacking the Chairman instead of helping him. That was how drama started.
Against the less than fifteen minutes presentation time each councilor is allocated, Mokgolele’s exceeded fifteen minutes. Every item he tried to present was punctuated with murmurs and extra raising of hands.
After sometime, one of the experienced members, Handy Nowebb, stood and tried to advise that the councilors should not be the ones making comments as it delayed procedure. He advised that Mokgolele was not oriented as the other councilors were before they took their seats. They should, therefore, exercise some mercy and permit him to go on with what he had so that there could be order and progress.
Consequently, the Chairperson became fatherly and advised his ‘new student’ that he should focus on the presented speech. Not that his ward’s issues were not important but for procedure’s sake. He budged!
Mokgolele had reason not to give in easily. There was a representative whose constituents are denied water but the same is given to stray livestock. Furthermore, he said in brief interview, some of his electorates, due to thirst, have been punished several times at kgotla for illegally getting water from De Beers mines’ main-holes. The youth there are raised by poor parents and it is evident they are adopting the poverty. Young farmer program cannot be accessed by these because they do not have water rights. Yet there are lots of boreholes in the area, owned by De Beers. Perhaps all these left the man oblivious of where he was, the forum he was in; not to mention procedures.