The fight between Kgosi Molebatsi Moroka and Kabo Ketshogile dates back seven years. At the time the duo nearly got physical with each other in a kgotla meeting that was organised by Ketshogile at Segola ward, which Kgosi Moroka viewed as unlawful.
To date the duo has not gone past the conflict to make peace, which has currently affected other political leaders such as Lerala-Maunatlala Member of Parliament and the Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Service, Prince Maele and Lerala West councillor, Gabagopole Sebele. Moroka is currently complaining, accusing them of distancing themselves in matters that affect the village.
In an interview with Mmegi Moroka accused his village political leadership of fuelling tensions in the village by influencing villagers to oust him and instead support them in their campaigns. Kgosi Moroka said that they have been leading illegal petitions and Kgotla meetings that were held behind his back in an effort to cast him out of office and into the job market line. He said that such ill-motivation is likely to incite violence, riots and fuel tensions amongst villagers because it has divided them.
“I am worried because the political leadership in my village has the habit of supporting people who have committed offences or are on the wrong side of the law coercing villagers to vote for them in the upcoming election. Crime is getting out of hand in Lerala and offences like theft, murder and other related crimes are on the rise, but the political leadership here has been distancing itself from the issues and are not helping us as Dikgosi to reinstate discipline amongst the residents, especially the youth,” Kgosi Moroka said. He said that in August Ketshogile spearheaded a march influencing residents to sign a petition calling for Moroka’s resignation, which the village Kgosi viewed as an unlawful move that is disrespectful to bogosi.
Asked about the allegations, Maele dismissed them stating that it is their responsibility as the political leadership along with Dikgosi to work together to restore discipline amongst the villagers. “I don’t know how to approach your question because the person who is accusing us is our village Kgosi, but such claims are incorrect and misleading. It is part of our mandate as the political leadership to sensitise and plead with them to refrain from getting involved in crime related activities,” Maele said.
“Gake bate go ganetsana le Kgosi mme fela seo kego senya batho maina. Usually when there is pressure people tend to blame others and point fingers, but as a leader it is my responsibility to restore discipline in the community. Crime amongst the youth is on the rise everywhere, but we should not blame each other and rather to work together. I think my efforts are visible, especially in schools where I have been trying to mold learners at (a) tender age, but if there is someone who believes that they (efforts) are not enough it’s a problem,” Maele said.
For his part, Ketshogile said Kgosi Moroka should not try to shift the issue at hand in which residents want him to resign as their village Kgosi. “As leaders there is no way we can support crime. He is trying to shift the issue because he knows that residents are unhappy and want him to resign as their Kgosi. They told him that he is a dictator who does not consult them in matters of their village. In the past they tried to block my kgotla meetings but I went ahead with them because I could not allow myself to be oppressed by him when I have full authority to address the people,” Ketshogile said.
He dismissed Moroka’s claims that he is involved in crime related activities and has been influencing residents to petition him.
“Lerala is not a kingdom, but Kgosi Moroka wants to treat it as one, where he dictates what should be done without consulting the residents. He is a dictator who has been taking decisions without consulting the residents, something that they are not happy with. For years now he has been snubbing all of our kgotla meetings despite written invitations to him, which clearly shows that he is the one who is fighting with us,” Ketshogile said.
Ketshogile accused Kgosi Moroka of meddling in their political issues by choosing which politicians to support.
Furthermore, Sebele shared the same sentiments as his colleague by dismissing Kgosi Moroka’s claims stating that he is acting out of pressure from the residents who no longer want him as their Kgosi.
“We are not the ones who are influencing residents to force him to resign, the residents are responsible enough and know what they want. He comes a long way fighting with politicians, we suspect that he is a politician himself because what he is doing kego itshwarelela ka metsi. We always hold kgotla meetings to warn and sensitise people about crime,” Sebele said.