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BDP factional fights go to trial

LEBOGANG MOSIKARE
BDP members.PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) fight that was ignited by factional fights before the electoral congress in Tonota last year July will go for continuation of trial on October 11.

Following the failure to solve the assault case outside court, the matter took another twist on Thursday, which led Magistrate Lebogang Kebeetsweng to adjourn the matter for continuation of trial.

The State alleges that Chidzani Mokgwebe, Boago Mosarwane and Otsile Moses assaulted Otto Masogo by slapping him on the face.

The charge sheet further states that the accused bashed Masogo with chairs and desks at Donga Junior Secondary School on March 11, 2016.

After the alleged assault happened, the BDP took a decision to indefinitely suspend the trio from all party activities pending the conclusion of the matter in an effort to show that it does not condone anarchy within its structures.

The accused have previously explored ways to reconcile with Masogo but their efforts hit a snag.

Prosecutor, Archie Makgoa from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) told magistrate Kebeetsweng that the accused have accepted the statements of all prosecution witnesses safe for the statement of the investigating officer, assistant Superintendent Onias Maziba.

Amongst prominent BDP activists mainly from the Francistown West constituency whose statements were admitted by the

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accused through their attorney Martin Maeba, are John Tshenyego, former councillor and aspiring parliamentary candidate for Francistown West Raoboy Mpuang and Omphile Mazebedi.

Other statements that the accused admitted are from the Member of Parliament for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane, former deputy mayor of Francistown, Lamodimo Dikomang, the complainant, Masogo and the doctor’s report.

The report shows the injuries that Masogo sustained after the trio allegedly assaulted him.

The ugly factional fights happened prior to the BDP’s 37th elective congress that was held in July 2017 in Tonota.

The intra-party fight was allegedly instigated by differences over the handling of the Francistown regional elective congress.

The congress was used to pick delegates who were going to vote at the purportedly high stakes BDP elective congress in Tonota, which however turned out to be a one-sided affair for President Masisi and his coterie.

Before the BDP congress, Masogo was a well-known sympathiser of the then vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi’s faction while the accused just like their political grandmaster, Moswaane were on the side of the vanquished Nonofho Molefhi camp.



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