Fears that Lobatse is on the verge of extinction will be put to rest when the government issues a permit to a British film Production Company called Dearheart to undertake filming in Botswana.
The company is yet to be issued with a permit to shoot a film on the life of the late former South African President Nelson Mandela. The major scene will be at a hideout inside an incomplete house in Lobatse owned by the Fish Keitseng family.
Head of Archaeology and Monuments at the National Museum, Philip Segadika, assured this publication that should the production company be issued with a permit, “this will have two outstanding results: First, part of the story of the role of Lobatse in the liberation of Southern Africa will be told.”
Secondly, Segadika said, “this particular story will help bring attention to Lobatse as a tour destination in the liberation route.” ┬á
Segadika said the production company submitted a filming permit to the country’s relevant authorities.
“We trust that the application will be successful and that the recent feasibility study will convince the company to invest its resources to undertake the filming in Botswana and on site,” he said.
On reports that they invited the company and that was why cinematography laws were violated, Segadika said, “in our understanding there is no violation at all.”
He said the activity (excavation at the house in Lobatse where Mandela stayed during the liberation struggle) at this stage was sanctioned through a Research Permit as the team needed to weigh the feasibility of filming in Botswana in March.
“We notified the relevant people at the OP about the research,” he said.
Asked if they invited the production company, Segadika said,“at this particular instance they were guests of the Fish Keitseng Family Trust who are our partners in the FK Monument valorization project.”
However, Segadika said, the National Museum has been talking with the company since last year, encouraging them to do the filming in Botswana whose story of the liberation of Southern Africa is as yet untold.
Pressed further if an accreditation had been sought from the Office of the President and whether the film crew had not violated the country’s laws by filming the scene while digging at the site, Sediga said his department was aware that there was video and still recording of the excavation.
“The permit provides for copies of the same to be deposited with certain government departments as is standard procedure,” he said.