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SCHOOL OF HORROR

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TROUBLED PLACE OF LEARNING: Lempu Junior Secondary School continues to be haunted by a mysterious disease and parents want their children out of the school. Meanwhile, Kweneng Regional Director Benson Rauwe (right) confirms they are facing serious problems but continue to engage parents in order to find a lasting solution.

Kweneng Regional Education Director Benson Rauwe has admitted that they are running helter skelter trying to find solutions to an uproar unfolding in his region.Parents residing in the catchment areas of Salajwe village are said to be furious and demanding that authorities should not dare place their children at Lempu Junior Secondary School for the next academic year of 2020.

Lempu is a secondary school that was hit by a condition known as ‘Mass Hysteria’ early this year. More than 100 students were admitted at Scottish Livingstone Hospital in Molepolole said to be suffering from the bizarre condition. The condition made children wobbly while others could not walk. Doctors are yet to establish the cause of the condition or find anything that can lead them to a cure. Meanwhile students are reported to be battling with the condition to this day.

Parents are not ready to gamble with their children’s future and are suggesting that while the government is busy establishing the cause their children should be sent elsewhere. Others have even gone an extra mile by transferring their children from the school with the intention of distancing them entirely from the mass hysteria scourge.The Midweek Sun visited the regional director in Molepolole this week, who openly admitted that they are in a painful situation as more than 90 percent of parents have instructed them to place their children in neighbouring villages of Letlhakeng or Takatokwane.

“Lempu has been admitting students from the villages of Monwane, Khudumelapye, Malwelwe, Kaudwane and Sorilatholo however parents are no longer comfortable with their children schooling there. “This means that only the people of Salajwe are left to deal with the condition,” Rauwe said.He said the school had 622 pupils and more than 50 teachers but as of this past Tuesday, information gathered was that since the school reopened last month, 95 students had not returned to school. “30 of those are in Form 3, 27 in Form 2 classes while 35 are Form 1s and it should be noted that they are all girls,” he said. Rauwe said that according to a personal investigation he carried out, it does not seem like the students will return to school anytime soon.

Their health he said is seemingly deteriorating and their hands seemingly stiff now. It was under such circumstances that they took a decision that the affected students will be readmitted next year. Nevertheless he is worried that Lempu School could become a white elephant since everybody wants out. “We are expecting a worst case scenario because I do no see parents easily having a change of heart. “However we are busy refurbishing the school and hoping that parents will let their children school in Salajwe,” he said. He said they have no answers yet about the condition but myths thrown around are that ghosts are haunting the school while others believe the school is cursed. He said the affected students told them that they saw small looking creatures described as Thokolosi while others said that donkeys and goats appear at the windows at night.

“Those are all myths and we cannot really know if there are some truths to the stories because nobody can corroborate their claims,” Rauwe said.

HEADMASTER REDEPLOYED AT LEMPU
The Midweek Sun understands that Lempu School Head Barulaganye Moseki has been redeployed and the government is waiting to bring a new headmaster at the school. It is said that the parents were not in a negotiating mood as they requested that Moseki be removed from the school. They were dead serious about it and the ministry had to act quickly. Two other officials at the school are said to have also walked out. However, Rauwe remained cagey saying the matter was at management level and could not comment on it.

MASS HYSTERIA TRACED IN MPHUTE
Meanwhile the Kweneng region might as well prepare for the worst as the condition has allegedly spread to Mphuthe School in Letlhakeng. According to reliable sources at the school, two students recently showed signs of the bizarre condition. However, the headmaster Meshack Sechele and his team are said to have dealt with the matter swiftly and there are no signs of the condition spreading. Sources at the school said that the headmaster has been talking to the children and it remains a mystery what he said to them that made the condition not to spread like in Lempu. Some even wonder if all the children are affected or some of them are just attention seekers.

The affected pupils are said to have recently transferred from Lempu School. When visited at his school, Sechele and his deputy Kedumetse Mokganele said that they could not comment on the matter. They admitted that they have been seeing many parents coming to them asking that their children come to school in Mphuthe. “It will mean admitting a large number here but we do not have facilities to accommodate a large number in Mphuthe and we are hopeful that the region will find a solution,” Sechele said.

THE MIDWEEK SUN CHASED AWAY FROM KHUDUMELAPYE VILLAGE
In Khudumelapye, a village just 22 km away from Letlhakeng and said to have a high number of parents wanting nothing to do with Lempu School, The Midweek Sun crew was chased away by the leaders, led by Kgosi Othusitse Mosimane.Kgosi and his advisors accompanied by Khudumelapye Primary School Head and other officers said to be from the clinic said that they do not want to speak to the media without the involvement of the government.

“Please leave our village, nobody informed us of your visit and if you stubbornly do interviews here and you are attacked or something, don’t come back here crying,” they said. Interestingly, this publication learnt that the village leaders are allegedly the ones hellbent on ensuring that their children be removed from Lempu. Which could only suggest that they have also turned their backs on Lempu School.

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Matsheka sues Bandleng mokoko 250k for defamation

Keletso Thobega

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Lobatse Member of Parliament aspirant Thapelo Matsheka has slapped Tefo Seetso of Woodhall in Lobatse with a P250, 000 lawsuit.

A few weeks ago, a video of Seetso tearing down posters bearing the picture of Matsheka at the Woodhall shops in Lobatse trended on social media. In the video, Seetso can be heard cussing what he refers to as corrupt politicians. The lawsuit letter, which this publication is in possession of, reads in part:

“Apart from the undoubtedly slanderous statement you uttered of and concerning him, taken within prevailing political atmosphere of election campaigning, the added import of your utterances is that our client: is corrupt, lacks moral fibre and is not fit to be elected member of parliament or to hold any public office.” The letter further states that Matsheka’s instructions are that his name has been smeared and that it would be almost impossible to repair the damage occasioned to him having regard to the wide coverage of the video clip.

“By the sheer size of Facebook subscribers both locally and internationally, and the prevailing election period during which particular attention to political campaigns and candidates is heightened, it is not hard to fathom the effect your slanderous actions have had and will continue to have on our client’s dignity as an ordinary member of the public and also as an aspirant to political office.”
The letter also stipulates that Seetso remove and delete the video clip from all social media platforms. He is also asked to publish an unconditional apology and retraction of the said defamatory recording.

In an interview Seetso told The Midweek Sun that he was still looking for a lawyer. He said he had torn down the posters and recorded the video “to get attention.” He said it was his freedom of expression. He also argued that he had not mentioned Matsheka’s name, who he said wanted to use him as a scapegoat, should he lose elections.

“The way things are, should he lose, he would claim that I contributed to his loss through defaming him as he claims. If at all he has a good name, then it would not be easily tarnished. He should just focus on his campaign,” he said.

He said he was still thinking about whether he would apologise or not. He also queried how Matsheka and his lawyers had reached the amount demanded. Seetso, who was once aligned with the BDP but was never a registered member, confirmed that he would be standing as an independent council candidate in Woodhall.

He said he had abandoned BDP because they were reluctant to register him. “I tried but failed. I think there are people within the party structures who saw me as a threat,” he said. Whatever the case, it is a punishable offence to destroy anyone’s political campaign material. IEC spokesperson Osupile Maroba, who said the Matsheka-Seetso case was the first of its kind, said anyone found guilty would dance to the music.

He made reference to the Electoral Act. He said if someone was reported to them, they would assist them and they would be handed over to the police who enforce laws. “If someone is incriminated in defacing political campaign material, they will be charged. As the IEC we do not enforce the laws but we are willing to assist with the procedure of bringing someone to book.” (Visit The Midweek Sun facebook page to see the video in question).

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A welcome snitch

Yvonne Mooka

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CELLPHONE TRACKER: Tebogo Aaron says criminals have labelled him a snitch for helping the police track people’s stolen property

Tebogo Aaron works hand-in-hand with Botswana Police Service to track down missing and stolen cellphones.

In an interview with The Midweek Sun, the 38-year-old man from Mahalapye says that on average, he traces between 25 and 50 mobile phones per day. He runs a store called Gadgets + Collectables, with two branches in Airport Junction and Phakakane’s Acacia mall.

Even though he sells a variety of gadgets, among them cellphones, Bluetooth speakers, laptops, it is the business of cellphone tracking that has given him a niche in the market. The Business Management and IT graduate says that his cellphone tracking business makes him stand out. “We are now in the era of cellphones. Almost every person has a cellphone and again, people steal them at a high rate,” he says.

Aaron provides police with leads, allowing them to do recoveries. He helps people who come with a police affidavit. “I have attracted hate from thugs thinking I’m a snitch,” he laughs.
But how long does it take for him to track down a cellphone? He says that the gadget becomes traceable the moment a sim card gets inserted inside.

His observation is that people have a tendency of buying stolen gadgets something he says is risky as one ends up charged by the police for buying a stolen item.
“Thugs steal phones with the intention to sell them, not to keep them. They want fast cash,” he says. And he says that thieves would go to an extent of creating fake Facebook pages to sell their stolen cellphones.

“Immediately after selling them, they delete the social media accounts while the buyer is left with it. People must take precaution,” he says. One of the people who have benefited from Aaron’s service, Lerato Lepang says her phone and wallet were snatched from her on June 4 in Molepolole.

“I reported with the police. A week later I heard of Gadgets + Collectables and decided to give it a shot. I went to the store on July 13 with a police affidavit as well as my phone details.“Five days later I received a call from them saying they had details of someone who had my phone,” she says. Another person Masego Mokgwatlheng says Aaron managed to recover her phone after a month in June.

She had forgotten it in a cab and traces showed that the cab driver had sold it to a Zimbabwean man. “I am now using my phone. It was made easier because I had a police affidavit,” she says. In addition to cellphone tracking, Aaron also tracks lost or stolen pets, bicycles and luggage. He has five employees.

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