Does the oppression of blacks by white people still exist? Does racism still exist in Botswana? Maybe this is the question that people should ask themselves following what transpired yesterday at Molapo Crossing Shopping Complex whereby a black man suffered harassment at the hands of a white man.
In the past there were reports of Batswana being harassed and looked down upon by white people, but for a while racism cases had quietened down.
Then it was reported that white racist tendencies were entrenched by centuries of colonialism and apartheid, however after yesterday, one may wonder if these tendencies still exist.
Yesterday George Molosiwa, a businessman, stormed The Monitor offices to voice out his grievance against an allegedly racially motivated incident.
In what he termed a racist act Molosiwa claimed that he was harassed by a white man whilst trying to withdraw cash at a Molapo Crossing ATM early Sunday morning.
Narrating his story, Molosiwa said he had planned to go to the cattle post yesterday morning with his two friends and before then decided to pass by Wimpy restaurant along the Western Bypass.
“It was after six in the morning when I arrived at Wimpy to purchase breakfast. I did not have cash with me hence I decided to swipe only to be disappointed as it kept on declining.
I tried to cash at a nearby ATM machine and it declined too, so I asked for permission from the waitress to go try to withdraw money at Molapo Crossing mall,” he said. He said upon arrival he tried Stanbic ATM machine and the card declined as well and he switched to FNB machine that declined too. He kept trying different ATMs because he knew his account had money.
He said whilst confused and stressed out a white man who was wearing a red golf T-shirt joined him in the queue and used an FNB machine.
The dejected Molosiwa stated that whilst retrying a Stanbic ATM machine, he saw a flashlight through the side of his eye and when he suddenly turned around, he was shocked to see that same white man busy taking photos of him.
“I asked him why he was taking photos of me and he accused me of being a thief. He asked me why I was battling with the machine and I told him I was retrying my card that was declining,” Molosiwa said.
Molosiwa said he assured him that he was a responsible businessman whose ATM card was only declining, hence he was confused as to what was happening since from his knowledge he had money in his account and was in need of cash.
“He continued to
I got furious and exchanged words and we ended up getting physical with each other. I came close to him as we were quarrelling, he pushed me away and I pushed him right back as well.
He went to his car. He was driving a navy blue Volvo and I followed him whilst we were still exchanging words. I decided to take photos of him as well using my phone because I did not know why he was taking pictures of me,” Molosiwa said.
Molosiwa added that he was so pissed off because the white man was being racist by saying ‘black people are thieves’.
“He might have undermined me because I was wearing boots (dirifi) and simple trousers and a golf T-shirt. While getting inside my car he drove off and I followed him until I lost him in the middle of Block 6 yards. I drove back and reported the incident to Gaborone West Police Station,” Molosiwa said.
Molosiwa disclosed his annoyance at what transpired stating that the white man was being racist.
“He looked down on me just because of the colour of my skin and that is racism that cannot be tolerated. I was only retrying my card, if I had intentions to steal the security guards could have established that. The ATM machines also have CCTV cameras to help with any information if my intention was to steal as he claimed.”
Reached for comment yesterday morning, Gaborone West assistant station commander, assistant Superintendent Irene Lepodise could not confirm nor deny the station had received the report as she was yet to be briefed on reported cases that day.
“I’ve just arrived in the office. My boss the station commander is not in today. My juniors are yet to brief me on today’s cases and I will have to brief my bosses too, hence could only be in a position to comment on that report on Monday (today),” Lepodise said.
The Monitor is in possession of the white man’s photographs taken by Molosiwa, including the number plates of the car he was driving. The car is registered to a company known to this publication.