Claimant loses Thamaga Bogosi on technicalities

Thamaga elders at the High Court. PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Thamaga elders at the High Court. PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Divisions among residents of Thamaga and the village’s leadership were temporarily resolved at the Gaborone Central Business District yesterday, with the High Court dismissing the other faction’s case on technicalities.

Justice Bengbame Sechele dismissed an application for stay of appointment of a headman at one of the wards in Thamaga after submissions from the attorneys of the parties.

Justice Sechele dismissed the matter on the basis that it was not urgent; that the applicants had not met any of the necessary requirements to be given an interdict; and that they had not cited the right respondents in their application.

“The application is dismissed and reasons will be communicated in due course,” he said.


The ruling came after the four applicants in the matter, Moemi Masilomangwe, Patrick Sello Mogotsi, Sebeba Metse, Nneka Botlhoko and Kabomo Masilomangwe took Thamaga Chief Gobuamang Gobuamang to court over the appointment of Badiri Masisi as headman of Goo-Ra Mogotsi Ward.

The applicants, through their attorney Lesego Nchunga had filed an urgent application for stay of the appointment on grounds that there was no consultation prior to Masisi’s appointment. 

They also argued that Masisi was not the rightful heir to the throne.

Nchunga said her clients and village residents were never consulted about Masisi’s appointment, but only heard rumours about it at a funeral.

“There was never any consultation done and the residents have not approved the installation of Masisi as the headman,” she said.

The application for stay was filed on June 25, 2015 while the installation was held two days later.

The first applicant in the matter, Moemi Masilomangwe, in his founding affidavit claimed to be the rightful successor of his father, since his brother had passed on.

He also stated that he only knew Masisi as a member of the Bakgatla in Thamaga village and not as a relative, or one entitled to the seat of a headman.

“It is my belief that I am the rightful successor of my father, my brother having passed way and me being the eldest of my father’s sons. Should Badiri Masisi be appointed as headman before deliberation of the elders, this would be contrary to the tradition and our culture,” stated the affidavit.

Masilomangwe also stated that on or about mid-2014 he was informed that a meeting was convened at the main kgotla where he and other elders were introduced to a delegation from Moshupa and Molepolole. He said the delegation informed them that they intended to introduce the supposed headman.

“Present at the meeting were the headmen of other wards and elders of Goo-Ra Mogotsi ward, and the ward elders made it clear that they were not in agreement and they left,” further stated the affidavit.

However, Attorney Ofentse Khumomotse for Gobuamang and Masisi, who was cited as the second respondent, dismissed the argument of urgency.

He argued that the applicants had sat on their rights for a period of 12 weeks without acting therefore the urgency was self-created.

“The appellants had known about the intentions to install the headman yet they did nothing for a long period and two days before the installation they filed an urgent application for an interdict,” he argued.

Khumomotse also submitted that the applicants had cited Kgosi Gobuamang in his own capacity even though he had acted in his official capacity to install the headman after getting a green light from the Minister.

He said citation was against the Bogosi Act and as such the Attorney General should have been cited into the proceedings.

“The first respondent did not act in his own capacity and as such it was unnecessary to cite him and also the applicants have not given any necessary requirements for the interdict they are seeking,” he said.

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