Botswana Congress Party Naledi North Councillor Oarabile Motlaleng who had gone AWOL sparking speculations of an impending by elections has resurfaced and ready to take up his seat in the Gaborone Council Chamber which has been empty since the council opened for business after the 2014 general elections.
“I received a communication from the councilor sometime last week informing me that he was receiving special health assistance from outside the country,” revealed Gaborone City Council Mayor Kagiso Thutlwe in an interview.
He added: “The councilor cites stress and persistent pains which continue to plague him following the attack at the hands of his assailants forcing him outside the country to seek medical assistance. The comrade is recovering and promises a comeback during the next session.”
Motlaleng was kidnapped by unknown assailants from his home at night in September last year only a few weeks before the country’s general elections. He was beaten up and left for dead and his body dumped in a trench near his house. He was found by passers bye and rushed to the hospital where was able to recuperate in time to contest the elections and win. He blamed his attack on the Directorate of intelligence and Security Services (DISS) who he claimed were pursuing a ruling Botswana Democratic Party agenda.
Thutlwe told the Sunday Standard that Motlaleng had sent him an e-mail message updating him on his health, but would not disclose the country he has gone to for medical attention.
Council regulations declare the seat vacant after three consecutive sessions without attendance and proper justification.
At the moment Motlaleng has skipped only one session.
Another full council meeting convenes September during which time he is expected to show up.
A local newspaper recently quoted Motlaleng’s lawyer, Martin Dingake saying, Motlaleng remains a committed member of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP). This followed speculations that Motlaleng may defect to the BDP.
“He is aware of insinuations that he may defect. That is far from the truth. He has, and in confidence to his other comrades, expressed different views on party organisation. Those were private discussions held in confidence and they remain as such,” said Dingake.
Talk of Motlaleng defecting to the ruling party followed an audiotape exposing conspiratorial discussions between suspended BCP members and BDP seniors. In the widely circulating audiotape, Thato Osupile, the former BCP youth league secretary general who resigned two weeks ago following his suspension, claimed to have contacted Motlaleng on the possibilities of him ditching the BCP for the ruling party.
Dingake explained that as previously indicated, Motlaleng is outside the country to seek medical attention and review his security following allegations of threat to his life.
“The specific location of where exactly he is remains a guarded secret for the very reasons that led to his threat to life,” he said.
Dingake added that Motlaleng was elated by his medical improvement and remains hopeful that he will return to Botswana soon. “He is eager to return to his motherland to serve the people of his ward and his beloved party. Should he feel so strongly and positive about serving his people as he now seems to, he may decide to return home irrespective of the circumstances he may be in and he is prepared to meet his fate if that is the only way to prove his commitment to his constituents,” he said.