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Bakgatla call for Molewa's removal

By unknown | Jun 23, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Winkie Dibakwane

Winkie Dibakwane

The Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela royal house in North West is demanding the removal of Premier Edna Molewa from her position saying she has failed Batswana in the province.

At a mass meeting at Moruleng Stadium, Saulspoort, the tribe decided it would deliver a letter backing its call to ANC secretary- general Gwede Mantashe today.

This follows Molewa's rejection of a royal house request to suspend controversial Chief Nyalala John Molefe Pilane who has been found guilty of corruption, fraud and theft involving R38 million of the tribe's money.

Even after he was convicted in the Mogwase regional court on June 3 Molewa would not budge.

Magistrate Stefaan du Toit found Pilane guilty on 18 charges involving theft, corruption and fraud.

Nyalala and his co-accused councillor Koos Shimane Motshegwa, will be sentenced on August 7. Motshegwa was found guilty of stealing R10000 from the Bakgatla.

Both men are out on R2000 bail each.

Royal house spokesman Segale Pilane said after yesterday's report-back meeting: "The premier has been a big embarrassment in the province.

"We are therefore submitting a letter to the ANC's secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to request him to remove this woman.

"She has messed up the chieftaincy affairs of the Batswana, not only here in Moruleng, but in places such as Mabalstad, Bakwena-Ba-Mogopa, Bethanie and Mabieskraal," Segale said.

Last week Molewa said she would not suspend Pilane regardless of the guilty verdict against him.

She told Sowetan: "I cannot take any action until the case is finally over, and the likelihood is that Chief Pilane will appeal after the sentence on August 7."

Molewa said she would protect the law at all costs and would not be pushed into doing anything until all due process of the law had been followed.

"This process may take a long time, even years," she said.

Molewa said that another faction which also laid claim to being the authentic royal family had surfaced.

The faction consists of members from the tribal office and is led by Kobedi Pilane a tribal councillor who was Nyalala's co-accused but was acquitted of all charges.

But Segale Pilane accused Molewa of "shifting the goalposts on the suspension of the chief".

"There is no faction here, the premier is dilly-dallying. This pattern is very clear.

"Each time action must be taken dates and venues are mysteriously changed, postponed and correspondence not replied to except through the electronic media at the exclusion of the royal family," said Segale.


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