In a curious turn of events, the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has been roped in to investigate the circumstances that led to a horrific incident in which a male teacher from Makobo primary school was mauled by a lion. The teacher sustained serious injuries at Botswana Defence Force Animal Awareness Park at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Mogoditshane almost three months ago.
BDF had initially convened a board of inquiry to also establish the circumstances that could have led to the attack. To date the board has not yet completed its investigations while on the other hand the matter was never reported to the police. It is reported that the injured teacher has to consult with a plastic surgeon which will be expensive.
The teacher is still on sick leave and it is not yet known when he will return to duty.
The director of Protocol and Public Affairs at BDF Colonel Tebo Dikole said the investigations surrounding the matter are still continuing. He said that in the latest development the department of wildlife and national parks has expressed their intent to conduct their independent investigations surrounding the matter.
“It is worth noting that the department of wildlife and national parks has expressed to us their intent to conduct their independent investigations,” he said. He said the teacher has been discharged from the hospital and continues to be treated as an outpatient and has made significant recovery.
When asked whether the injured teacher will be compensated, Dikole replied, “issues pertaining to compensation were immediately communicated to commissioner of labour and social security through notification of the incident.”
He said the park has now been closed to the public since the incident. He concluded that, “In view of the pending investigations BDF is constrained not to comment further on the matter.”
However the secretary general of Botswana Teachers Union (BTU) Agang Gabana said he is surprised that BDF has not yet concluded its investigations on what could have led the lion to attack the teacher.
“It is unfortunate that the BDF has not indicated clearly time frame when the investigations will be completed”. He stated what hurt most is the fact that the employer seems to care less about the injured teacher because they have not paid him a visit while at the hospital or to record a statement from him on what really happened.
“This is quite disturbing from the part of the employer and is tantamount to negligence and the union will not take kind to this conduct.
The employer could have discussed with the teacher about his health and employment, adding that at the moment they do not know who will compensate the teacher – whether BDF or the ministry of Basic Education.
Earlier on, Mogoditshane police claimed that BDF did not report the incident to the station. The teacher was allegedly attacked by the lion during an educational tour.