Botswana has not lifted the visa restriction against leader of the South African Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF), Julius Malema.
This is despite the fact that he isnow on a diplomatic passport following his election to parliament.
The government this week indicated that a visa restriction against Malema still stands.
Pundit’s had viewed Malema’s win as a move that would afford him an opportunity to visit Botswana and other countries in SDAC without a need to apply for a visa.
Ministry of labour and Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, Ikwatlhaeng Bagopi, stated in an interview that the visa restriction against Malema would stand.
Malema, who is expected to launch Umbrella for Democratic Change candidate for Borokanelo ward in Molepolope North, Arafat Khan, is expected to apply for a visa.
Bagopi stated that the diplomatic passport in his possession would not change the status quo. He emphasised the diplomatic passport would not change the position of the country.
“Malema will have to apply for a visa since he was slapped with visa restrictions. As you are aware the diplomatic passport he is in possession of was given to him by the South African government and that does not mean it will afford him the liberty to come to Botswana without applying for a visa,” said Bagopi.
The EFF has since written a letter to the SA High Commissioner to Botswana, Mdu Lembede, informing him about Malema’s intention to come to Botswana.
The letter indicated further that Malema would be coming to Botswana with other members of the party in September.
Malema is a critic of President Ian Khama and Botswana.