Botswana Congress Party (BCP) spokesperson and Member of Parliament (MP) for Selebi Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse demands a retraction and unconditional apology from cartoonist, Jafta Serero.
The two face off over what Keorapetse says is defamatory material against him posted on social media page, Toonedseries administrated by Serero.
Keorapetse, through his attorneys, Kambai Attorneys yesterday wrote to Serero threatening to sue the cartoonist if he fails to comply with his demands within four days of receipt of the demand letter.
According to Keorapetse, on various dates going back to October 2017, Toodneseries has engaged on a sustained malicious campaign against him by posting and publishing cartoons and words on the same Toonedseries Facebook page and Twitter account, which he deems as defamatory and lowering his reputation in the community.
Keorapetse said that some of those cartoons he complains about were at Serero’s insistance published on various dates in sister publications, Sunday Standard and Telegraph.
He stated in the letter that the cartoons have depicted him without any factual basis as a corrupt, promiscuous person, accessory or beneficiary of proceeds of crimes from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF).
“By way of example, on or around 5th day of August 2018, in the said Facebook page you published a cartoon depicting our client as having received an unspecified cash amount contained in the bag from former President Lieutenant General Dr Ian Khama as a reward for discharging an unspecified mandate for the former president,” read
Keorapetse said in the letter that he was depicted as preventing institution of a Commission of Inquiry in the NPF, impliedly because he unduly benefited from the proceeds of crime from the said fund as well as being a member of the ‘Jerusalem’ faction of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
He said that all the publications are without factual basis.
He said that, the publications, which list is by no means exhaustive, which constitutes vitriolic, abusive, and defamatory and attacks are calculated to depict him as a dishonest, untrustworthy person, who corruptly benefited from the alleged looting of NPF.
Moreover, he stated that the publications have also portrayed him as an unfaithful and two-timing husband as he is desirous of having a love affair with the Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry despite him being a married man according to customary law.
Yesterday Toonedseries page on Facebook seemingly responded to Keorapetse’s demands with a cartoon post and a disclaimer saying, “ToonedSeries is an animated fiction. Viewer discretion is advised”. The cartoon showed a big hand about to swat a miniature figure of a man in lime clothes with a middle finger in a way the person swat a fly.