Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama was this week nursing a bruised ego after his cousin and King of the richest tribe in Africa, Kgosi Leruo Tshekedi Molotlegi turned down his lunch invitation, refused to give him VIP escort and spurned his request to fund the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).
Khama accompanied by his chief financier Bridgette Motsepe Radebe, her sidekick Malcolm X and Tshwane Malope, a member of the African National Congress (ANC) professionals and academic task team met Kgosi Molotlegi in Phokeng, Rustenburg South Africa on 10th June to try and raise money for the BPF from the Bafokeng Royal Kingdom.
Kgosi Molotlegi however spurned the request saying he did not want to get involved in funding politics of a sovereign country especially after the South African government distanced itself from Bridgette Motsepe Radebe’s campaign to topple President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Kgosi Molotlegi further stated that the Bafokeng Royal House recognised Khama as a member of the royal house and not as a politician. The Bafokeng king pleaded for a peaceful resolution to the bitter fight between Khama and President Masisi.
In a gesture that underlined the king’s resoluteness, Kgosi Molotlegi turned down an invitation by Khama and his entourage for lunch at the The Royal Marang Hotel.
Kgosi Molotlegi had earlier that morning declined Khama’s request for VIP escort from Pilanesberg Airport to Phokeng Royal House. This was after the South African Police Service (SAPS) withdrew the VIP escort they had been offering Khama whenever he visited South Africa.
In addition to being the King of Bafokeng, Kgosi Molotlegi is also a matrilineal descendant of the Khama royal family of Botswana. His grandfather, Chief Tshekedi Khama, was regent of the Bamangwato tribe during the reign of Sir Seretse Khama, his nephew and Ian Khama’s father.Kgosi Molotlegi’s mother and the Bafokeng Queen Mother, Semane Molotlegi isTshekedi Khama’s only daughter.
The Bafokeng’s resource is platinum. Their tribal lands straddle some of the world’s most valuable deposits of the precious metal.