Mascom network has allegedly reached an agreement with Kgosi Kgafela to remove its tower from the hill, sitting on land that was allocated to them by the Mochudi landboard. According to Kgafela the two are currently in negotiations over a suitable place to relocate the service provider‘s tower.
The Bakgatla and Mascom have been fighting over the location of the tower and the threat it allegedly posed to the royal family. The Bakgatla had even gone as far as to seek expert assessments of the possible health dangers the tower posed to the community.
Last month, a visiting British scientist, Barrie Trower, revealed that the Mascom tower was just “too dangerous for people’s health”. Trower recommended that cellular phone towers be located seven kilometres away from a community.
However, he said that the seven kilometres referred to average towers, but for a bigger tower like the one that was on the hill, it should be nine kilometres.
On Saturday, while addressing a Kgotla meeting in Mochudi, Kgafela revealed that he had on a number of occasions tried to reach out to Mascom in a bid to discuss how best to handle the issues associated with the location of the tower.
“Since 2008, they have ignored my requests to discuss the situation in a civil manner, I also tried to reach out to the Landboard, they too choose to ignore me. The Landboard even went on to extend Mascom’s lease,“ said Kgafela.
Kgafela said that it was this series of events that led to an unrest which resulted in the destruction of the tower. He said that it was only after the unrest and negative assessments about the tower by experts that Mascom decided it was time to talk.
Some of the royal leaders were reportedly under investigation for allegedly inciting the destruction of the tower. Kgafela said that it took them almost a year and a half to heed his request to discuss the issue in a civil manner.
“Of course, we want them to continue with their business, but not in a way that puts residents in harm’s way,” said Kgafela.
To a hearty round of applause from those present at the meeting, Kgafela said that he was happy with the agreement they reached with Mascom, which he felt was long overdue.