Saturday, October 24, 2020

Gantsi farmer flees Botswana claiming harassment by security agents

A young Motswana farmer has fled the country claiming his life was in danger for spurning President Ian Khama’s proposal to acquire his farm in the Ghanzhi area.

In the documents passed to Sunday Standard, Gakeolebale Mosimane Mosaise alleges that before he fled the country he held a meeting with President Khama’s Senior Private Secretary Bragadier Tlhalerwa to lodge a complaint that security agents were demanding that he surrendered his farm to the President.

Also present at the meeting, Mosaise alleges, were Director of Directorate Intelligence and Security (DISS) Isaac Kgosi and Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgophe.

The Office of the President and the Police have has since denied that such a meeting took place.

Sunday Standard has seen documents showing that Mosaise was granted temporary asylum by the South African Human Affairs Department on 22 June 2015.

In a letter dated 17 June 2015, routed through the Botswana embassy in South Africa and addressed to President Khama, Mosaise states that “It’s(sic) was said I will never find peace until I relent to your demands to acquire my farm (number 185NL) in Ghanzi District Area.”

 The hand delivered letter was signed by Botswana Consulate General in Johannesburg, South Africa a certain A. Matsheka. It also bears the embassy’s stamp. Sunday Standard was unable to establish if the letter was forwarded to the Office of the President.

At the time of going to press Botswana High Commissioner to South Africa Zenene Sinombe had not responded to a questionnaire sent to his secretary Ambrosia Matsetse despite her promise to respond before end of business Friday.

In the letter Mosaise also states that “I fled the country a very bitter and frustrated person after being stripped off dignity by our State security agents.”

“…And I am resident in the Republic of South Africa as an asylum seeker, desperately working to move further and explore opportunities in North Africa, thus get as far away from home as possible,” he says.

He further states that “as a law abiding citizen, I did all practically possible to find out why such inhuman treatment but only got shallow cold replies from the authorities.”

“While attempts to get help/ clarity from your office bore no fruit as your senior private secretary George Tlhalerwa, told me there was no truth to the whole story of you intending to acquire my farm. He only reiterated what had numerously been said before (he never seemed troubled nor had a solution for my problem, as I m still under siege from the security agents of Botswana),” says

Mosaise notes that “He (Tlhalerwa) felt I was just paranoid as he had never during security briefings heard my name being mentioned, as such advised me to stop being paranoid and live normal.”

According to Mosaise present at the meeting were “DIS-Director General Isaac Kgosi, Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe and his two deputies.

Responding to a Sunday Standard questionnaire, the Office of the President Press Secretary Gobe Pitso said “Brigadier Tlhalerwa has never met with this person nor has he been in any of the purported meetings.”

“The Senior Private Secretary to the President (Chief of Staff) Brigadier Tlhalerwa or this Office has not exchanged nor received any correspondence from the mentioned individual,” said Pitso.

He added that “…furthermore, His Excellency the President has no interest in setting up masimo in the area.”

For his part, Botswana Police Spokesperson Witness Bosija said “Neither the Commissioner of Police Mr Keabetswe Makgophe nor any member of the Botswana Police Service is aware of the alleged claims/allegations by Mr Gakeolebale Mosimane Mosaise.”

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