The government is aware that Bakgatla tribal leader Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela II may have obtained South African citizenship illegally and is working with its counterparts to reverse the decision. President Ian Khama made the candid admission in an interview at his office with Botswana Guardian. The embattled Bakgatla tribal leader relocated to South Africa in 2012 following protracted differences with government over flogging of Bakgatla tribesmen. Khama expressed doubts last week to the manner and speed at which Kgafela obtained citizenship in Africa’s biggest economy. “…But the circumstances under which he obtained the citizenship I believe are being questioned. I won’t say more than that,” he said.
His remark is revealing in a sense that government has not abandoned its plans to extradite Kgafela into the country to answer for the criminal charges he faces. Khama said South African authorities have formally informed their counterparts in Botswana that Kgafela has been granted South African citizenship. “How he got the citizenship so quickly is something that is being questioned,” Khama said avoiding giving further details on the matter. Security agencies are working with their South African counterparts to have ‘Kgabo,’ as Kgafela is fondly known, extradited to Botswana to face criminal charges. The regional magistrate court has issued at least two warrants of arrest for Kgafela following his failure to show up in court for his flogging case. Khama said that Kgafela is wrong into thinking that the government is fighting him.
He said that after he was charged for flogging his subjects Kgafela took the issue with the government alleging that the government is after him. He said that the Directorate on Public Prosecution (DPP) and the police are the ones who were involved in his case. “It’s not like cabinet met and decided to charge him,” he said adding that before his flogging case could begin, he launched a ‘strange case’ with the High Court questioning the legality of the country’s constitution.
The case was dismissed on the grounds that the High Court did not have jurisdiction to challenge the legality of the constitution. Khama believes that the reason why Kgafela skipped the country has everything to do with the fact that he had lost his case in which he challenged the constitution. “He realised that he was not going anywhere and the only thing was to skip the country to run away from the charges.”