Police commissioner still looking for Kgafela

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*Royal official, Mma Pilane says police should show them their kgosi
*A mophato member yesterday said Kgafela is fine

Police commissioner Thebeyame Tsimako says there is no indication Bakgatla leaders, Kgosi Kgafela II and his brother Mmusi, spent the night in Mochudi, after escaping from police custody on Wednesday, further deepening fears that they might have been sneaked into South Africa on the very day he drove away from police custody.

The Police Commissioner also said rumours that the kgosi might be in Mochudi with his mother are baseless, as the police manhunt in the area failed to produce anything yesterday.

Meantime at Prisons, Wamorena Ramolefhe the spokesman said yesterday Kgafela and his people had not yet been handed over to them.


Kgafela and his brother Mmusi have not been seen in public in Mochudi since they ran away from police custody.

A royal official in Mochudi, Caroline Setelele, famous for spear-heading bojale initiation ceremonies for Kgafela yesterday demanded that the police hand over their kgosi, saying the morafe and everyone else in the royal house wants to know the whereabouts of their leaders.

But a member of mophato, speaking from Mochudi after yesterday's evening kgotla meeting addressed by mephato leaders, told Mmegi they have remained calm.

"We have spiritual connection with the kgosi as members of mephato, so we know he is fine, it is not for you to know where he is, we remain calm", he said. However amidst talk among police sources that Kgafela's car was followed into the royal compound in Mochudi by a hovering police helicopter on Wednesday, Tsimako says his men reported that they were not following a particular car per se, but were hovering over the skies to check if any of the cars drove beyond Mochudi or beyond Botswana's borders.

On Wednesday evening a plainclothes police source in Mochudi, who was also chased away from an impromptu meeting at the Mochudi kgotla, where journalists were also not allowed, told Mmegi that they were sure that a helicopter had followed Kgafela's car into the royal compound.

 He said officers in the helicopter reported seeing Kgafela getting out of the car and into the royal residence.

However there was some talk among Bakgatla tribesmen in Mochudi to the effect that the kgosi had been successfully sneaked into South Africa, after the vigilante successfully sold the police a dummy.

The Police Commissioner says his officers' hunt for the kgosi and his brother hit a snag yesterday, adding that they are also looking for the 11 members of mophato who escaped with the Bakgatla leader.

Tsimako was yesterday locked in a long meeting with his senior officers discussing the case which has also thrown the reputation of the police into doubt, especially after all the 13 men managed to get away from right under their noses.

Meanwhile sources yesterday reported sighting Kgafela driving in his luxurious Hummer around Jumbo Cash & Carry store area after midday yesterday. However Police Commissioner says there is no way Kgafela would have driven around town without being noticed by the police.

Tsimako also says they are looking for the driver of the Toyota Camry sedan which was seen taking away the kgosi. He said the owner of the car, which was also spotted in Mochudi Wednesday evening is wanted by the police so he can tell them where Kgafela is.
Meantime a fuming Bakgatla royal Caroline Setelele Pilane, was yesterday demanding answers from the police regarding the whereabouts of their kgosi and his brother, Mmusi.

 "We want them to tell us where our kgosi is, and give him to us, because the last time we saw him he was in their hands. Bakgatla are looking for their kgosi, he is not here (at the royal house).

 The people are waiting for the police to come here and tell them what happened to the kgosi," said Pilane.

She also castigated the justice system that ruled that Kgafela, his brother and 11 others should be locked in prison for 14 days due to the continuing whipping of people in Mochudi and other parts of Kgatleng by Kgafela's mephato.

"The ruling pained our hearts. We believe that Kgafela should have been given an Award for instilling discipline, bringing dignity back into people's homes, getting rid of drunkenness, and lawlessness in Kgatleng," Pilane told Mmegi.

"Today our kgosi's dignity and integrity has been trampled upon by the courts.

They ignored the fact that he, as a kgosi, was tasked by this morafhe to instil discipline, and straighten things by getting our forgotten culture and its ways on track, among them, go kgwathisa (flogging)", she told Mmegi.

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