Thursday, June 13, 2024

Some Batswana show interest in the Senzo Meyiwa’s trial

For whatever reasons, some Batswana are following the Senzo Meyiwa murder trial currently going on in Pretoria with keen interest. Some have posted pictures of the presiding judge, Justice Ratha Mokgwatlheng on social media with a caption reading, “former soccer star”.  Senzo Meyiwa was murdered at the home of singer, Kelly Khumalo’s mother in 2014. Five men are on trial for his murder. It may be a coincidence that a former soccer star is presiding over the murder case involving a former soccer star. Not only that, but also that a former Orlando Pirates star has been assigned to preside over the murder case of another Orlando pirates former star player. However, there is no conflict of interest. The judge left Orland Pirates more than 50 years ago when Meyiwa was not yet born and was not even in the pipeline. It appears the judge has caught the imagination of many who apparently remember him either playing for Orlando Pirates or Kaizer Chiefs during his days. Yes indeed he started his trade at Orlando Pirates. Together with Kaizer Motaung, Ewert Nene, Tiki Khoza, Edward Msomi Khoza and Thomas Zero Johnson, they went on and formed what became known as Kaizer X1 and later renamed Kaizer Chiefs. They had fallen out of favour with Orlando Pirates. The excitement which is being shown by so many Batswana is not surprising.  Both Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs command large following in this country.  Whenever any of the two teams plays in Gaborone, the stadium is always filled to capacity.

If the flab yond Wellie Matheadira Seboni, David Mophuting, Churchill Gape, Geoffrey Mfila, Benjamin Steering Segale, Calvin Makhasa and perhaps Bankane “Banks” Mokgware were here, they would tell the beautiful story of playing against Ratha Mokgwatlheng wearing his spectacles at the National Stadium in a friendly game in Gaborone in the late sixties. That footballer, now a judge of the High Court, was in that Orlando Pirates side which hammered Gaborone United 7-0. Seboni was the GU manager. He and Mophuting watched that game from the stands. Gertrude Selolwane would also remember that game. The rest were sweating and made to chase their shadows on the field of play. I did not watch that game because I was still young at primary school and travelling to Gaborone was financially demanding on my part. But a relative of mine called Rasenabole Pilane who was a diehard GU supporter was at that game. He told us thereafter that two of the seven goals were scored by Ratha, one at close range and the other a terrifying thunderbolt from outside the 18th area of the pitch. 

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