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Florence Kgaboesele: An unsung heroine



In the township of Peleng in Lobatse, where the daily momentum of life is blurred by a deep-seated desire to not only live to see tomorrow, but experience a better life, one would not expect that greatness lies here.

But despite the misconceptions of it being a crime and poverty ridden melting pot of moral bankruptcy, there is also an unequivocal heritage legacy and a strong sense of community. There are mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters. Human beings of integrity, their hearts brimming with love for humanity.

It is also where a brave woman, Florence Kgaboesele (94), who died a fortnight ago, became a heroine of sorts for not only opening her heart, but her home to apartheid era “fugitives”. Kgaboesele was married to John Kgaboesele, who was the Headman of Peleng.

In the 1960s, the Kgaboesele family housed several famous struggle icons like South African’s Oliver Reginald Tambo, Nelson Mandela and Mozambique’s Samora Machel on transit or as they fled their respective countries in fear of attacks from the apartheid regime.

The African National Congress (ANC) has for one, often expressed its indebtedness to the Peleng community, especially the Kgaboesele’ for the instrumental role they played in protecting the struggle stalwarts.

In 2013, the Mozambique government bought the Kgaboesele house to turn it into a commemorative structure and built the family a house elsewhere. The house bought was the fourth house in the Lobatse Township to be built and it also housed the only shop.

Although the role Kgaboesele played in protecting the struggle stalwarts was selfless, it also put her life and that of her family in danger because the apartheid government could have very well sent a parcel bomb to her home, or even torched it.

In fact, in the mid-80s the country was gripped in fear when parcel bombs were distributed in Lobatse and Gaborone, reportedly by the apartheid government, killing several people.

Kgaboesele’s legacy is that of principle, humility and love. Kgaboesele has been known to be a soft-spoken woman – the true embodiment of femininity and strength. Through her conduct throughout, we can better appreciate that a woman does not need to be boastful or uppity for her greatness to shine through – it’s the untold stories that weigh in our hearts, the battles in our souls, the resilience of our spirit, and the compelling need to care for others, forgive and love unconditionally and relentlessly even if a piece of her sanity and livelihood is compromised, that reflect the power of a woman.

Kgaboesele’ untarnished legacy serves as inspiration for many seeking to recondition their minds and spirits to the important ethos of maintaining humility throughout life. Kgaboesele was laid to rest on Saturday (9 January 2016).

May her soul rest in peace.

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‘My life is a living hell’



A Zimbabwean double amputee, Gift Ncube who received a lot of public sympathy after a farmer, Keitumetse Khunou shot him in 2013 over a payment dispute thereafter losing both arms, says that his life is a living hell.

This is because his former employer, Khonuo has not honoured terms of agreement to compensate him for his lost arms. As of September 2017, the two through their lawyers agreed on an out of court settlement in which Khonou undertook to give him 20 goats and eight heads of cattle to start a new life. Khunou, through his lawyers K. Sekgabo Attorneys further proposed to transfer his rights and title in respect of his only residential house consisting of a two-bedroom house, main house with two rooms, toilet bath and a kitchen situated at Radisele.

They also agreed that they were going to pay, Ncube a sum of P100 000, which was proposed to be paid on or before the end of May 2018. However, Ncube through his lawyers, Chibanda Makgelemele & Co said May was far and proposed end of February 2018, which was accepted.

At one point, the parties agreed to pay P125 000 from the initial P130 000 demanded by Ncube, but Khunou’s lawyers said he could pay him P22 000 per month commencing December 1, 2017.
Narrating his story, Ncube cut a frustrated figure. “I now knock on people’s doors, asking for money to buy food. This is not who I am and who I had thought I’d be at any point in my life. This man has destroyed my life and I’m finding it hard to accept that I don’t have my hands,” he said.

He stated that Khunou’s lawyers had told him that their client was not cooperative. “They even told me to seek the assistance of the media,” he said, adding that life is hard as he has a three year old daughter to look after.

As of May 7, 2018, the parties went to the High Court where there was also another settlement made regarding compensation. Khunou signed to give Ncube his plot in Radisele, with its two houses. The agreement was that should he fail to procure transfer of the property to Ncube through the Landboard, then he shall within six months of failure to procure transfer cause it to be sold at a price to be agreed by both parties and the proceeds shall be paid to Ncube.

The agreement also entailed eight cows and 20 goats, and P130 000 payment in installments of P5 470 per month commencing March 31, 2018 until May 1, 2020. The court papers have the certificate of Customary Court Grant, which is yet to be given to Ncube.

The shooting incident happened at Khunou’s ploughing field at Diphateng lands near Radisele where he had temporarily engaged Ncube to de-bush his field.Meanwhile, Ncube said he has opened an account with a local bank where he wanted to save money for Myo-electric prosthesis. Quotations from Gaborone Private Hospital show that he needs P172 500 to get it done. The system consists of wrist insert, wrist/elbow unit, functional hand, prosthetic glove, cable above elbow, harness above elbow and prosthetic sheath.

Khunou’s lawyer Kgololesego Segabo confirmed that there was a settlement agreed that was signed between his client and Ncube. “What is left is for my client to act on the agreement. He is in the process of mobilising resources to honour the agreement,” he said.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega



Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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