SA Premier Mahumapelo pushes President Khama off the road

08th November 2017
FRONT PAGE Source:The Midweek Sun

Premier of the North West Province in South Africa, Supra Mahumapelo pulled a stunt that not only caught his principals by surprise, but had the potential to cause tension just a few days to the two countries’ third Session of the Bi-national Commission. In a vintage Hollywood script, the gutsy Mahumapelo, who is a frequent visitor in this country, on November 1, broke all rules, regulations and procedures of Protocol by entering into Botswana unannounced to attend the Global Expo.

On return to his country, he could not bear the congested traffic and instead, resorted to the unthinkable by instructing his motorcade composed of three expensive cars to switch on the blue lights, thus clearing the way for him to pass. Amongst the many citizens that he forced to pave way was President Lieutenant General Dr Ian Khama, whose convoy he met that afternoon on the Lobatse–Gaborone road around the St Joseph’s College turn-off. Khama, who is also known as Super for his dazzling football skills, has not taken kindly to that and Botswan government has followed the stipulated protocol channels to lodge its protest.

Mahumapelo was only identified by law enforcements agencies when his motorcade reached a road block near Otse village. Reliable information reaching this publication indicates that he and his delegation had to identify themselves as well as explain why they behaved in that manner. After the police had satisfied themselves Mahumapelo’s motorcade was given an official escort for the remaining distance to the Ramatlabama border by the police. The third session of Bi-National Commission follows the invitation by President Jacob Zuma to his counterpart Khama during the second session of the Bi-National Commission held in Gaborone on 20th November 2016.

Although Zuma’s invitation was crystal clear that the next meeting will be held in South Africa, he did not mention the date, save that it would be mutually decided. The Midweek Sun has reliably learnt that the meeting has been set for November 17, but it remains to be seen if all will go as planned before the impasse caused by Mahumapelo is resolved. Records show that the agreement establishing the Bi-National Commission between the two countries was signed on 29 August 2012 in Gaborone during President Zuma’s State Visit to Botswana. The Bi-National Commission merged the then existing two bilateral mechanisms – the Joint Permanent Commission for Cooperation and the Joint Permanent Commission on Defence and Security.



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