In the midst of controversy surrounding Bakgatla tribal leader, Kgafela Kgafela II, Zion Christian Church (ZCC) has thrown its weight behind Kgafela, likening the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to British colonial masters.
Moatshe Dintwe’s comments come after the DPP issued a warrant of arrest against Kgafela- who faces assault charges – for failing to appear in court. The ZCC pastor in Lentswe-le-Moriti becomes the first religious leader to express his concerns that government wants to arrest his tribal leader. He said it is in his interest to see Kgafela returning to his tribe.
“But he will not be coming back with leg shackles as the police wish. It doesn’t matter when he will come because even when this happened to Kgosi Molefi, it took years for him to come and take over his Bogosi. We can’t solve anything when we are fighting,” he added. He likened the controversy surrounding Kgafela II to the rule of British colonial masters, who were hell-bent on excommunicating Kgosi Molefhi for whipping a white man. Kgafela has allegedly relocated to the bastion of Bakgatla in South Africa, Moruleng and has not been attending court cases in Gaborone. “The British colonial masters rule had done the same thing to Kgosi Molefhi nearly seven years after he ascended to the throne in 1936,” remembers the ZCC leader. He said during Molefhi’s reign, the British government sent six pick-ups from Mafikeng to fetch the controversial Kgosi after he had whipped a white man over a dispute between him and Dutch Reform Church, which was led by a white man. He said Molefhi was saved by his regiment- Mafatshwana- who foiled the attempt to arrest him. He said it took ZCC to intervene, with Bishop Engenas Lekganyane saving Molefhi. He said that the church would consult with government and relevant stakeholders to bring Kgafela back to Mochudi.
The church was optimistic that Kgafela would finally return after the consultations had been completed. Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Leornard Sechele could not comment on the matter, as it is before the courts.