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KgosI Sebele II - The Conclusion

JEFF RAMSAY
Previously, it was noted that the 1936 High Court Judgement in the case between Dikgosi Tshekedi Khama and Bathoen II versus the High Commissioner had upheld the latter’s “unfettered and unlimited powers”, which specifically extended to the continued detention without charge or trial of their colleague Sebele II.

The judgement thus effectively blocked further legal challenges on the part of the banished Kgosi and his supporters.

As had occurred earlier in the case brought before the Privy Council in London by Kgosi Sekgoma Letsholathebe it was affirmed that as a British Protected Person, Sebele along with all other Batswana was not entitled to the basic legal protection of habeas corpus.

Although the Court had ruled against the Dikgosi on the technical matter of its having no jurisdiction over the High Commissioner’s administrative actions to “preserve peace, order and good government” amongst the Batswana, it nonetheless found merit in the substance of the Dikgosi’s arguments that their people’s views and traditions of governance had been neglected. 

By the time of the judgement, Resident Commissioner Rey’s superiors in London had also apparently concluded that his heavy-handed approach to the Chiefs, and the consequent turmoil within Kweneng and the other Reserves, had become counter-productive.

Under Rey’s his successor, Charles Arden-Clark, new Proclamations where drawn up, in consultation with the Dikgosi, and enacted in 1943. At the time the High Commissioner’s Office notified London that: “There is only one point in which I desire to direct your particular attention and that is the provision in Clause 3 of the Native Administration Proclamation for a Judicial enquiry in case of any doubt as to the rightful successor to the Chieftainship. This is novel, and although the proviso is permissive in form Huggard considers that it would curtail to some extent the High Commissioner’s present powers. Its insertion is pressed by Tshekedi who was supported by the other African members of the committee, which examined the draft. Forsyth Thompson says that the Africans and particularly Tshekedi were insistent on safeguards which would prevent any recurrence of the Sebele incident and similar happenings.” The new administrative climate, however, came too late to be of any benefit to Sebele. In Ghanzi he had remained defiant but isolated, telling the British that he had not been banished because he, unlike they, was still in his country. Indeed the white Ghanzi farmers feared the respect accorded to him by the local population.

On one occasion, when he was allowed to travel to Maun, Kgosi Moremi graduated mophato in his honour. But by 1938 his longing for Kweneng caused him to offer to abdicate if he could only be allowed to return as an ordinary person. This offer was refused by Kgari, who reportedly stated: “I am afraid that Sebele should return to Molepolole, for he is the

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real chief, I, Kgari, am a chief’s son.”

Sebele died on October 2, 1939. His body was brought back and buried at the royal kraal next to the graves of his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

The funeral was attended by thousands and included people from all over the Protectorate.

Susan, the mother of his only male heirs, Moruakgomo and Mokgalagadi, was escorted from her mother’s home in Tlokweng to the funeral by the Bakgatla Kgosi Molefi. There she is said to have been seated beside Phetogo, who gave her morning cloths after the funeral.

Some refused to believe it was really Sebele’s remains in the coffin and continued to pray for his return.

After his brother’s death, the British sought to re-launch Kgosi Kgari’s authority by having him serve as a senior NCO in the African Pioneer Corps, while installing a three-man regency to maintain order in Molepolole.

Upon returning from the war, Kgari reassumed his royal duties no longer bothered by demands for Sebele’s return. 

https://www.thermalid.com/ bedava bonus bedava bonus bahis siteleri casino siteleri deneme bonusu güvenilir bahis siteleri Yet although he was now addressed as “Kgosi” his legitimacy remained tentative. As late as 1959 a report by then Kweneng District Commissioner Peter Cardross-Grant noted: “When Government banished Chief Kgari’s brother Sebele, Government made Kgari Chief in his place. Neither Kgari nor the tribe as a whole has ever forgotten that. If Kgari has the support of Government when he needs it, i.e. in dealing with strong, influential and capable characters such as Letlole Mosielele, Makgasane Kgosidintsi, and Patrick Bothusang Kgosidintsi, and if he can be frightened into curtailing his drinking bouts, and from flaunting his mistress Sefentse Makwati in public, he will do almost anything that Government wants him to do- in time. He has the power in him to make his people do things, provided they are sensible and reasonable things.”

In his final years Kgosi Kgari, noting the emergence of the new nationalist politics, began to think about abdication and, perhaps, even self-exile. Thus, while the Democratic and People’s Parties were holding their first public meetings in Molepolole, he was in Swaziland with his friend Nkosi Sobuza II, allegedly looking to buy a farm. There he suddenly died on September 19, 1962. Before his death Kgari had repeatedly predicted that he would be the last Bakwena Chief.



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