Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama, former Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Director General Isaac Kgosi and Specially Elected Member of Parliament Mephato Reatile are spearheading a scheme to bust the Botswana government visa restrictions imposed against South African businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe.
Sunday Standard investigations have turned up information that Reatile who is a member of the pan African Parliament has nominated Motsepe-Radebe as an Ambassador of African Women in Business. This would make Motsepe-Radebe a PAP diplomat with diplomatic access to all African countries including Botswana where she has been slapped with visa restrictions. It is hoped the scheme will force President Masisi’s hand to lift the visa restrictions against Motsepe-Radebe.
Should Masisi resist the plan, the team has agreed to lobby former Botswana Defence Force Commander, General Tebogo Masire’s wife, Orefitlhetse Masire, who is “a leading lady in Botswana’s biggest women’s organisation, Women in Business Association (WIBA).”
Khama on Friday 17th may 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.
Motsepe-Radebe who is also the wife of South Africa’s cabinet minister Jeff Radebe was earlier this year banned from entering Botswana without a travel visa.
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Although there were no official reasons advanced for the ban, it has since emerged that the South African mining magnate was accused of meddling in Botswana politics following a series of stories published exclusively in the Sunday Standard.
Motsepe-Radebe, 59, is president of the South African Mining Development Association. She is also the older sister of billionaire Patrice Motsepe, and President Cyril Ramaphosa’s wife, Tshepo Motsepe.
Forbes says Patrice Motsepe in 2008 became the first black African on its rich list. It estimates his wealth at $2.5bn. South Africans normally do not require an advance visa to travel to their land-locked, diamond-rich neighbour, although several prominent figures have been blocked from entering the country without first applying for permission.