Rasesa bogosi dispute flares in the open

Ernest Moloi
Friday, 12 March 2021
Kagiso Buisanyang Kagiso Buisanyang

A group of disgruntled residents of Rasesa in the Kgatleng District has petitioned the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Eric Molale to “cancel forthwith” the appointment of Kagiso Buisanyang as Kgosana for the village. Buisanyang was appointed Headman of Record for Rasesa late last year, filling a post that had been vacant since 2015 after Samuel Kgwaripa’s contract expired.

The post was not filled for all this time on account of lack of funds. The disgruntled residents, who have annexed their signatures to the petition, argue that Buisanyang’s appointment was irregular and borders on illegality since it violates the provisions of the Bogosi Act (Section 22) and a longstanding tradition of consultation with the community before a Kgosana can be appointed. They say they were “shocked” when in October last year, when Headman, Kgosi Letshwenyo Rasesa informed them that the minister had appointed Buisanyang as Kgosana. According to the Ministry, Buisanyang will replace Rasesa when his contract expires in 2022.

The group notes in the petition that as a community they are aware of the hierarchy of their Bogosi and as a result have been ready to present to the Minister’s office the names of the “rightful person for the post for your consideration”. They say in the unlikely event of lack of consent by the community, they were prepared to have the “matter put to the vote”. Based on these grounds the petitioners want the minister to cancel the appointment of Buisanyang forthwith and allow the community to consult among itself and present the names of the “rightful Kgosana” to the Minister.

A Spokesperson of the Ministry, Masego Ramakgati confirmed receipt of the petition. He said the ministry is presently seized with the matter and will proffer advice at a convenient time. But Motshwarelela Kgosi of BaKgatla baga Kgafela, Kgosi Bana Sekai dismissed as preposterous the argument that the matter could be put to the vote in the event of lack of consensus on the names provided by the community. Kgosi Sekai, who was rebuffed by Letshwenyo Rasesa when, as an emissary of the minister, he presented Buisanyang to Headman Rasesa last year- said voting no longer exists in Bogosi matters in Kgatleng.

Rasesa chieftainship dispute spans over 30 years since 1984 when Raseipei Rasesa was appointed Headman through a vote at the Rasesa kgotla after years as regent (motshwarelela bogosi for boo-Rra Kgwarapi, who were recognised as the rightful heirs to the throne. Kgosi Mmusi Pilane (a regent for Kgosi Lichwe II) requested that Raseipei Rasesa continue as Motshwarelela Kgosi from 1982 until 1992 when again Mosekiemang Masekiemang was voted as Headman of Arbitration. He would later be dethroned when boo-rra Kgwarapi complained.

When the post was elevated to Headman (Kgosana) in 1992, Letshwenyo Rasesa (incumbent) was headhunted from the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) allegedly irregularly and through the connivance of Olebile Samuel Kgwarapi, the late Edward Ramphaleng and Binang Mmakagaka , and has been Headman in Kgwarapi’s Kgotla ever since. The matter was however conclusively laid to rest in 2020 through a letter signed by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Boipelo Khumomatlhare. The letter stipulated that Kgosi Letshwenyo Rasesa’s contract would run until it expires in September 2022 and that in the meantime the rightful claimant to Bogosi ba Rasesa, would fill the post of Headman of Records and ascend to Headman when Rasesa vacates office in 2022.

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