Alliance for Progressives (AP) Mogoditshane Member of Parliament, Sedirwa Kgoroba last week apologised to the Deputy Speaker, Kagiso Molatlhegi for hitting him with a water bottle in Parliament last year.
Kgoroba threw a 500ml water bottle in Parliament that hit Molatlhegi during a heated debate between members of the ruling party and the opposition.
Kgoroba was later summoned to the court to answer to charges of common assault after Molatlhegi reported the incident to the police. On Thursday, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe read Kgoroba’s apology in Parliament before the charges before Magistrate’s Court were dropped.
We applaud Kgoroba for being man enough to admit he was wrong and wrote an apology that was read in Parliament.
Leaders should do such things that will inspire their countrymen to know that it is okay to apologise when you are wrong regardless of your political or any other differences.
We also applaud Molatlhegi for finding it fit to reconcile with Kgoroba and have charges dropped. It speaks volumes about you as a leader that you believe in building societies and people should be able to learn from you that conflicts can be resolved amicably.
We have heard Kgoroba and other members of AP stating that they would never be in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) with the current Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) leadership because of incidents that happened in Bobonong. As much as we condemn violence, we challenge Kgoroba to lead advocacy for peace between the two warring parties.
If Molatlhegi could forgive Kgoroba, the latter could also do likewise and forgive his former comrades in the BMD leadership. It took great men and women such as former South Africa president, Nelson Mandela and others to forgive those who persecuted them during the struggle for liberation.
Apartheid was declared a crime against humanity, but Mandela did not seek revenge against his persecutors. This is a great lesson for humanity.
Kgoroba and company can learn a great deal from Mandela. It is evident that the masses behind opposition parties believe they need to work together in order to give a credible challenge to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). It is evident that Batswana want to see all the opposition parties working together and Kgoroba has proven to be the right person to preach reconciliation.
Some Batswana who voted for him and other AP members are left in the lurch and would love to see him make that bold step and make peace with the BMD leadership for the greater benefit of opposition party followers.
It would look very odd for Kgoroba to continue vowing never to work with those he believe have wronged him before when he believes an apology is enough to solve a conflict.
“Reconciliation requires changes of heart and spirit, as well as social and economic change. It requires symbolic as well as practical action.”
– Malcolm Fraser