Bangwaketse Paramount Chief Kgosikgolo Seepapitso IV will be buried on the 3rd of April. Kgosi Seepapitso, 77, passed away on Wednesday March 24th at around 2am in the morning, after a long illness. His first wife, Retse Gaseitsiwe, popularly known as Mma Leema, passed away at around 3 am on the same day. They were both hospitalized at Princess Marina hospital.
Royal family representative Kwenantle Gaseitsiwe told Sunday Standard that the tribal elders met morafe on Thursday morning to deliver the news of their paramount chiefs’ passing. Before that a royal delegation of tribal elders was sent to report the chief’s passing to President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Kgosi Seepapitso was late last year hospitalized at Gaborone Private Hospital, and later transferred to Princess Marina Hospital. At the time, the royal family and doctors appealed to community members not to visit the chief so that he can have time to rest and recuperate. Churches in Kanye held prayers at the main kgotla during his hospitalization.
Kgosi Seepapitso was rushed to hospital on Monday after his health took a turn for the worst. He was later transferred to Princess Marina Hospital, where he passed away on Wednesday morning.
Born in October 17th 1933, Kgosi Seepapitso served government in various capacities, at one point being the town clerk in Gaborone. He was crowned Bangwaketse paramount chief in 1966, after his father Kgosi Bathoen II retired.
He was the Chairman of the House of Chiefs for over 24 years, after taking over from Kgosi Letsholathebe Moremi in the 80’s. He also served as the Botswana’s ambassador to the United States, and later as Botswana’s ambassador to China.
Kgosi Seepapitso is survived by 4 children, a number of grandchildren and his wife.
Kwenantle Gaseitiwe described Seepapitso as a loving and dynamic leader under whom the Bangwaketse thrived and became very successful.
“He was a very principled man who never shied away from speaking out to defend what he believed in. He was the custodian of Botswana and Bangwaketse culture, and he repeatedly called for the preservation of bogosi. His passing is a great loss to Bangwaketse and to the country as a whole” he said.
Kwenantle Gaseitsiwe would however not be drawn into revealing Kgosi Seepapitso’s heir.
“We should wait for Bangwaketse to grieve and heal before we deal with such issues. In any case, there is no chieftainship crisis at ga-Ngwaketse because Seepapitso’s son Malope, who is also the deputy chief, is holding the fort” he said.┬á