Saturday, July 4, 2020

EU, America ban Motsepe Radebe

South African businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe Radebe is unable to visit the European Union and the United States of America following visa restrictions imposed on her by the Botswana Government.

A concerted lobby by American diplomat Andrew Young, South African High Commissioner to the UK Nomatemba Tambo and South African Ambassador to France Rapu Molekane have failed to dislodge the US and the EU on Motsepe-Radebe’s travel ban.

The US and the EU Schengen visas require that applicants should not have visa restrictions imposed on them by any country.

Motsepe and her side-kick, Malcolm X were earlier this year slapped with visa restrictions by the government of Botswana, accused of meddling in the country’s internal politics.

The lobby by Young, Tambo and Molekane to have the US and the EU relax their visa requirement for Motsepe Radebe follows the collapse of an initial plan by Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama and Specially Elected Member of Parliament Mephato Reatile to bust the Botswana visa restrictions against Motsepe-Radebe.

The Pan African Parliament has rejected Reatile’s nomination of Motsepe Radebe as an Ambassador of African Women in Business. The move by Reatile who is a member of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) was supposed to be the final master stroke in a plan hatched by Khama and Kgosi to help Motsepe Radebe acquire a PAP diplomatic passport which would give her diplomatic access to all African countries including Botswana. It was hoped the plan would force President Masisi’s hand to lift the visa restrictions against Motsepe-Radebe.

The PAP was however uncomfortable that it would be used by Motsepe-Radebe as a backdoor into Botswana.

The Sunday Standard can reveal that on May 17th Khama met Bridgette Motsepe Radebe, Malcolm X and Tshwane Malope, a member of the African National Congress (ANC) professionals and academic task team at the NAC VIP Lounge, Lansaria Airport where “the imminent appointment of Mrs. Bridgette Radebe by the Pan African Parliament as Ambassador of African women in business” was discussed.

South Africa’s National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) President Joseph Montisetse who was to be part of the meeting sent an apology explaining that he had been robbed in Sunnyside, Pretoria the previous night.
A few hours after the Lansaria meeting that was chaired by Khama, Motsepe Radebe had lunch with Reatile and Malcolm X at Trumps Restaurant in Johannesburg where the plan was also discussed.

The visa busting scheme was also discussed with South African State Security minister’s advisor Bob Mhlanga at a meeting on 15th May in Hyde Park So Yum restaurant shortly before he was suspended. Mhlanga had promised to help with the visa restriction busting scheme.

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Sunday Standard June 28 – 4 July

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of June 28 - 4 July, 2020.