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UB ’s academic shame

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Deputy Vice Chancellor ( Student Affairs) at the University of Botswana Professor Martin Mokgwathi is in hot soup after it was alleged that he has plagiarised an undergraduate orientation speech.

The speech Mokgwathi is alleged to have plagiarised was made by former Limerick University President Professor Don Barry while addressing prospective students during the welcome ceremony six years ago in Limerick, Ireland.

Mokgwathi seemed to have grown fond of the speech and could not let the opportunity to spill out well-decorated words elude him as he repeated the same speech during the Orientation of the University of Botswana freshmen in August 2018. According to several sources that were part of the orientation ceremony, Mokgwathi blew everyone away not just with his eloquence on the podium but with a flawless speech that many claimed to have heard before. “Several professors claimed to have heard the speech somewhere. We became suspicious when we media students requested for the speech and he didn’t want to give it away,” said one media student at the University who was in attendance.

Moreover, sources close to the matter say that a disciplinary hearing and harsh punishment awaits the renowned Professor. “The University of Botswana is a university of high reputation, many who have done this have seen the door and it’s highly possible that the Council can recommend the same for Mokgwathi,” said a source close to management in the school.

Moreover, this publication is in possession of a letter addresed to the Vice Chancellor of the University by the Student Representative Council (SRC), requesting that allegations levelled against Mokgwathi be investigated. “By ignoring this scandal and sweeping it under the carpet, the University is sending a wrong message to students, stakeholders and the general public that plagiarism and academic dishonesty is tolerable in the University.

“If these allegations are true and variable (sic), it is true that Professor Mokgwathi has put the good name of the University in serious disrepute. Further it is our considered view that his suspension be on full salary pending investigation and possible disciplinary hearing will be of public interest.” Reached for comment, Mogwathi ridiculed the allegations before citing that the issue is internal and therefore he cannot address it. He then referred us to the Director of Public Affairs.

“It’s an internal issue so if there is someone to shed light over the issue it’s the Director of Public Affairs,” he said. Efforts to get a comment from the Director of Public Affairs Mhitshane Reetsang however hit a snag as she was not in her office. Mokgwathi was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor Student Affairs in January 2016, he succeeded Professor Lydia Nyati Saleshando who left at the end of 2015 when her contract expired. Mokgwathi has been with the university since 1986 and boasts a wealth of experience.

He is also celebrated for crafting and establishing the Department of Culture, Sports and Recreation in 1998, which he became its Director until 2000 when he left to become Head of Department of Physical Education.

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Boko has failed his constituency – Mokgethi

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THROWING SALVO: Anna Mokgethi vows to turn around the fortunes of Gaborone Bonnington North

Botswana Democratic Party Parliamentary hopeful for Gaborone Bonnington North Annah Mokgethi says area Member of Parliament failed to utilise the P10million constituency Development Fund to develop the constituency.

Every year government allocates P10 million to each of the 57 constituencies for developments under the ministry of local government and rural development and councils coordinate the projects. Mokgethi told the media in Gaborone on Tuesday that UDC president who is also area MP, Duma Boko was supposed to have pushed for projects to be done in the constituency.“As we speak there is nothing but the constituency has been having an MP and councillors in the past five years. “Crime is high in the area because there are no streetlights in most of our roads. Our people are attacked under the cover of darkness. Our roads are still dusty but you take our neighbouring constituencies they have paved the roads using these funds.

“We are behind because our MP has neglected the constituency ever since he was voted into office. There is nothing that he can show as a development he advocated for under the fund,” she said.
Mokgethi, a lawyer by profession, will be launched this coming Sunday by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Since its inception in 2017 the fund has been marred by controversy as MPs argued that they are not being taken on board in the projects.Vice President Slumber Tsogwane who at the time was local government minister, said it was wrong for council secretaries to snub MPs when councils consult residents on developments to do with the fund.

Mokgethi told the media that representation is about service. She said she is willing to represent the people of Bonnington North. “The people of this constituency are yearning for representation. They need a representative who will have enough time on his/her hands to attend to their needs and interests. Someone who will have an ear inclined to their needs,” she stated.

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BEAUTY WITH STAINS

Keletso Thobega

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BEAUTIFUL BETRAYAL: Many did not believe Mhotsha could commit such a heinous crime

Broadhurst Magistrate Court came to a near standstill this past Friday when Lebogang Mhotsha appeared for mention on a conspiracy to robbery case.

Sporting a spiral braided hairstyle, the 30-year-old, who looked exhausted and agitated, turned heads with her pretty face with many in the crowd peering at her and commenting on how unfortunate it was for such a beautiful young woman to be implicated in a crime of such magnitude, where blood had been spilled.

There was a heavy presence of police officers, soldiers, DIS and members from Interpol in the court that was so packed that one had to take gulps of breath to avoid suffocating. All eyes were on Mhotsi, who unflinchingly stared ahead as the brief court proceedings got underway. Details presented before court are that Mhotsha of Mogoditshane is implicated in a conspiracy to robbery following the death of three Batswana men in South Africa on the 26 July 2019.

It is said that the victims were robbed of P350, 000, ten thousand US dollars and a Samsung J72 cell phone. The deceased men were part of a team of seven Batswana headed to Durban to purchase vehicles. They were attacked along the Swartruggens road in the North West area between Mafikeng and Rustenburg by six men who robbed them at gunpoint and made off with the money. The prosecutor in the case asked the court to give them an opportunity to complete their investigations, adding that they also want to engage Interpol to assist them.

Magistrate Tshepo Thedi remanded the accused in jail pending further investigation. Mhotsha will appear in court again on 22 August 2019 together with two other accused. Botswana and South African police jointly launched investigations into the matter to establish the circumstances that led to the incident. So far, preliminary investigations have revealed that the robbery was an act of conspiracy between the suspect, Mhotsha as well as local and South African associates.

The case gets more interesting as more accused come out of hiding. This past weekend a confession was extracted from two other suspects, Poloko Seduke and Kefilwe Ramoitoi both aged 38. The duo subsequently appeared before court on Monday facing the same charge of conspiracy to robbery. Although investigations are still ongoing to piece together the puzzles in this case, it is widely believed that the three accused are part of a bigger crime syndicate operating between Botswana and South Africa that targets Batswana who travel to Durban to buy cars.

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