Last Updated
Wednesday 17 December 2014, 20:36 pm.
Who burnt Seretse's tree?

FRANCISTOWN: Who burnt the famous Sir Seretse Khama tree, Mpani wa Seretse in Sebina during the infamous public service strike? The hunt for the answer has seen law enforcers fingering a teacher at Shangano Community Junior Secondary School (CJSS) in Sebina for the burning of the tree.
By Staff Writer Thu 18 Dec 2014, 20:19 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Who burnt Seretse's tree?








But the accused is not taking things lying down and has reacted by suing the state for P300,000 for defamation.
The Monitor is in possession of a statutory notice from the teacher's lawyers addressed to the Civil Division of the Attorney General.

Lawyer Anthony Manenji of Manenji Attorneys in Francistown acting on behalf of his client, Isaac Ike Mogorosi, wrote the notice on Friday. The notice states that in or around March 2012, Mogorosi received a letter dated March 9, 2012 written by one O. N. Thonkga-Principal Education Officer-Central Region then acting within the scope and course of his employment and also for the government of Botswana.

The letter, according to the notice, makes very damaging and defamatory allegations against their client.
More particularly, read the notice, the letter labels their client as anti-government, accused the President of Botswana-Ian Khama-of incompetence and that he burnt a tree commonly known as "Mpani wa Seretse" in Nshakashogwe village.
These allegations expose our client to hatred, contempt or ridicule, read part of the notice.

The notice further says that the letter was read by a number of people including officers from Serowe and Tonota and before at least five staff members of Shangano CJSS before it reached our client.

"He was victimised and harassed for allegedly masterminding the burning of the "Mpani wa Seretse" tree, allegations which are in themselves malicious and unfounded and totally denied by our client.

"Our client's victimisation and harassment also appears in the fact that the author of the aforesaid defamatory letter, who was also the head of a delegation (beside the DIS officers) that came to investigate our client on the aforesaid allegations is the one who later charged our client in terms of the aforesaid letter instead of the Director-Central Region-who is authorised to do so," read the notice from the lawyers, which then pronounced that they were demanding P300,000 for the damage incurred by their client.

"Such money should be paid at our offices within 30 days of your receipt of this letter failure to which we will proceed to court to recover same costs. This letter serves as statutory notice to sue," the notice concludes.

Manenji told The Monitor that the Attorney General will be served with the notice on Tuesday.
This publication is also in possession of a letter dated March 9, 2012 addressed to Mogorosi signed by Thonkga. The letter bears the stamp of Shangano CJSS and is titled-Charge Following Preliminary Investigation.



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