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‘Please forgive me’

Keletso Thobega

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Murder convict Thabo Masilo cut a forlorn figure in court this week as he begged for forgiveness for killing Tshepo Motlhabane. Masilo appeared at the Gaborone High Court on Monday for sworn evidence in mitigation. His lawyer Kgosi Ngakaagae told court that he would present two witnesses, being Masilo and his mother, Victoria Masilo, who told court about her son’s psychosocial development.

Masilo, who was once plump, has lost a considerable amount of weight and prison life seems to have accelerated his ageing, as he now looks older than his 27 years. He cut a subdued persona, a far cry from the cocky juvenile character of previous years. The lad, who is also serving another term for robbery and rape, arrived in court surrounded by armed prison warders. He was dressed in dark blue chino pants and a light blue printed floral shirt and shades.

Gone is the infamous unkempt Mohawk cut. It has been replaced by a fashionable fade cut with funky lines, as is the trend nowadays. Court one was packed to the rafters as family members, former schoolmates, law students, media and curious members of the public sat without shifting to lap up every detail on what could have transpired on that fateful day on 16 November 2012 when Motlhabane was stabbed to death by Masilo in her family home in Phase 4, Gaborone.

The Court heard that on the day of his arrest, Masilo had taken drugs. He stated that he had joined a few friends he went to school with and gone on a drinking spree, drinking seven quart bottles of Zamalek (Black label liquor) and smoking three zolo (joints of marijuana).

Strangely he recalled details of what happened on the day despite his intoxication. Masilo told court that he had introspected and learnt from his mistakes. When Ngakaagae asked him if he would kill again he responded that he would not and claimed that he had been rehabilitated as he now held motivational talks in prison to encourage fellow inmates to turn over a new leaf.
He also stated that he was doing his last semester of a Degree in Business Entrepreneurship he had been doing through BOCODOL.

When Ngakaagae asked him to present a message to the Motlhabane family, Masilo said: “I am full of remorse. In my life, I never ever thought that I would be in such a position. I want the Motlhabane family to know that I keep them in my prayers. “I also pray that they have a sense of forgiveness towards me. God says we should forgive others. If I had the chance and it was possible that I be released, I would get close to the Motlhabane family to try and make amends with them.” The case will continue on 8 April 2019 for final submissions and to set a date for sentencing.

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BDP to crack whip on dissidents

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Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is poised to crack the whip on members that attended last month’s “illegal” Serowe meeting that was allegedly called by the Central Region party elders.

The meeting was to discuss what transpired during the regional congress where President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi was endorsed as the preferred candidate to lead the party against the recommended name of Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

The party has since scheduled disciplinary hearings for the affected members following a complaint letter from Steady Sethaba – Chairman of Serowe West Branch dated March 1st 2019.
About 28 people have been listed in the complaint letter as some of the attendants. Dr Khama and Dr Venson-Moitoi have not been listed in the complaint letter, although they were present as well as Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma who is also vying for the party’s Secretary General position.

BDP National Disciplinary Committee Vice Chairman Yame Tshepo Kebabonye has since written to the affected BDP members that the hearings are scheduled for the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19 of April 2019 in the morning at party head office. Through the letter dated 6th March 2019 Kebabonye has called on those appearing to have availed their statements of defence within 14 days of receipt of the summons. In the complaint letter Sethaba had indicated that the meeting was in violation of the party constitution because it was not called by an established organ of the party.

“The speakers also deliberately misled and incited the meeting attendants by speaking in a way that was aimed at leaving them believing that the regional congress led the delegates to do what was unconstitutional. “Of late there has been an emergence of unruly behaviour by some members of Serowe constituencies which necessitate for appropriate remedial action before it gets out of control,” Sethaba said in the complaint letter.

The Serowe “illegal”meeting was held on the 24th of February 2019 and was attended by among others former President Dr Ian Khama, Dr Venson-Moitoi, Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma and Roseline Panzirah-Matshome who is vying for Deputy Secretary General post ahead of the party’s elective congress in July this year. Also, in attendance were most of Central District BDP councillors. Following this meeting party Secretary General Mpho Balopi revealed that disciplinary action would be taken against those members who attended the ‘illegal meeting.’

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I BUY NO POWERS

Yvonne Mooka

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Many will remember Apostle Joel Keitumele as Ntsoro the comedian who would leave people in stitches with his rib-cracking jokes.

Now an apostle who leads Heavenly International Soul church with his wife Amo Keitumele, he confided in The Midweek Sun that he has never bought powers to make himself and his church powerful as it is often alleged by members of the public.

Two years ago, there were allegations that he had lost his mind after he failed to honour an agreement with a seller of powers in Ghana. “They were saying I was mentally disturbed and that I was being tormented by a snake because I dishonoured an agreement from a seller of powers in Ghana. I have never been to Ghana and the rumours were baseless,” he said, adding that someone even lied that his aunt works at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital and had seen Keitumele at the hospital.

He also recalled the time he was invited at Btv with now born again Shumba Ratshega. He was wearing two rings. “One was my wedding ring and the other on my right hand was a Versace. A caller asked why I was wearing the other one and there were talks that it’s for powers.” He said he took it off and gave it to the presenter to wear and that nothing happened to him.

Lately, there are allegations that he wears an eagle belt, known in street lingo as ‘Prophetic belt’and purpoted to have powers to increase miracles in church and to attract more people. It is won by several other pastors and prophets among them, Shepherd Bushiri, Alph Lukau, Passion Java and Eubert Angel. He confirmed that he has it. He however said there is nothing like a prophetic belt or prophetic shoes.

“Of recent, God released a cloud of young prophets and these like their older mentors or spiritual fathers are stylish and they like fashion. “We have tapped into that. So most of us have Versace shoes, Eagle belts because we like looking good. People refer to them as ‘Prophetic this and that’ but there is nothing prophetic about them.

It’s just that we like them but we don’t need them for powers,” he said. Keitumele confirmed that he sells the trending shoes and belts at his store in Gaborone. “We just like our belts. Nothing more. The power is in the price. Monna ke monna ka setlhako le lebante,” he said.

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