Montserrat Guibernau defines a nation as “a human group conscious of forming a community, sharing a common culture, attached to a clearly demarcated territory, having a common past and a common project for the future and claiming the right to rule itself”.
Awareness, territory, history and culture all matter. Nations are unique in the makeup of character and worth.
To what extent is a group aware of distinctiveness from other groups? It is this historically persistent cultural identity, and one that makes a majority within a given territorial area that defines a nation. Awareness and acceptance of a claim of nationalism constitutes real consciousness that induces and engenders a sense of national belonging.
Subconscious or concealed ideals are the forces that govern and unite mankind. Philosopher Johann Freidrich Herbart compares the subconscious part of human character to an iceberg. The greater bulk of the iceberg lies under water, invisible and unnoticeable. What we call the iceberg is only the cluster of towers that pinnacle to reach up to light.
The greater bulk of human character lies below the water line of consciousness. Humanity seeks what it wants and shuns what is dislikes without thinking of it. The awakened person is like an iceberg. But it is the instinctive and subconscious person that supplies momentum to humankind. It is this submerged self that has earned the medieval phrase of “slumbering beneath the threshold”.
Governments regulate to some degree citizen education, language, culture and by so doing establish and reinforce some national attributes and discourage others. Extreme and coercive peddling of dubious ‘national’ myths for cynical power purposes is also common. Nationalism has a dark side. Adolf Hitler’s Nazism and Bennito Mussolini’s Fascism are primary examples which involved inevitable shoehorning of a people.
National intelligence agencies are a measure of a nation’s political health and the only real expression of its subconscious. Peter Magosi is shoehorning the nation. Reasonable man and of sane orientation has become accustomed to Magosi’s falsehoods and lies. As regular as the lies have become, and so have people allowed themselves to believe the lies.
The latest is a sham of allegations against Wilheminah Maswabi accused of siphoning P100bn. The charges crafted to soil Former President Ian Khama and Isaac Kgosi suggest the duo were complicit in opening illicit accounts through which billions were stolen. It remains a mystery how the country’s economy did not collapse.
One would assume the primary function of the national intelligence is to supervise the analysis process across intelligence agencies. In a normal setting, it is fitting that investigative information is ratified before passage to the courts via the DPP. In this case affecting “Butterfly”, the DPP can be exempted from the madness from inept investigations.
The DPP placed confidence upon investigators to proceed with charges of terrorism and money laundering. What however wasn’t shared with the DPP was the clear sign of politicisation of charges and an attempt to bend analytical judgment of the public. What is at play is abuse of power in elevation or de-prioritising specific issues considered terrorism despite there being no terrorist duly charged.
In an act of mischievous and deliberate bureaucratic manoeuvring, it would appear documents were doctored to arrest and detain Butterfly. The evidence coming from the forensic experts as provided by defence attorneys will either vindicate Butterfly or see her continue
Banks Absa and Nedbank have also thrown their weight into the evidence, dismissing as falsified and none existent in the database of documents. It is no surprise that henchman Magosi has the country here. Our failure in February 2019 to check the veracity of the claims of an assassination attempt on President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s life looks more shameful to history. The courts have withdrawn the Palapye saga against those charged.
Then there is drama that accompanies Butterfly’s court appearances. The henchman has succeeded is unearthing what truly lies beneath the threshold. Botswana is now a banana republic.
If Magosi could not determine that the gun possessed by Khama’s security detail was a toy, then something is amiss at the intelligence headquarters. The DIS of today is so gifted in lying with a straight face that it never thinks twice about recycling its greatest hits. Magosi has failed to come clean on Mozambique assassin claims and the presidential jet OK1 mid-air return.
A year since accusing China Jiangsu of “massive corruption and activities that border on national security” no one has been charged. DCEC Jospeh Matambo claims P5.6bn has disappeared. Short on heels is henchman Magosi who media reports indicate that he has attributed P3bn to Honourable Tshekedi Khama’s daughter’s offshore account.
As the lies pile up, no one calls on Magosi to account truthfully. The most important lies to watch for the new ones reiterated daily. The nation has to contend with claims that the State House is now an unsafe abode. You know fiasco awaits when everyone reads in unison from the same fictional script and believes the lies to be a true account.
The henchman’s lies are custom-made to prop up the new “way forward” that is anything but. Emerging is a new narrative aimed solely at shoehorning. Too much attention is being paid to deceptive public relations strategies to mask administrative inefficiencies.
Magosi has succeeded in invoking a national hero out of himself. The henchman has cultivated myths which in turn induce a sense of commonality and belonging. The response serves the interests of those inducing, merely reflecting what is already there, and mirroring people’s deep rooted feelings – a new nationalism to protect a new epoch.
Man’s instinct like an iceberg lies beneath a threshold. In Peter Magosi, we have been sold an intelligent dummy. Intelligent in unearthing and abusing our innate characteristics and instincts for the benefit of those he is loyal to. The henchman must also be given credit for seeing Batswana for what they are. He plays them like a fiddle because he has realised they are a gullible nation.
With the benefit of a lapdog media swallowing every piece of his fiction, if he is not reined in he will ruin many people, the country and its reputation. What is behind Magosi’s agenda of peddling misinformation and causing alarm? Hopefully when he is eventually brought under control it will not be too late.
But for what it’s worth, this is a reflection of who we are – a banana republic.