Botswana warns citizens entry & exit points into Mahikeng closed from Thursday

The ministry released the statement in light of protests around the Mahikeng Local Municipality.

Botswana flag. Picture: Wikimedia Commons.

JOHANNESBURG - The Botswana Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs has warned citizens that all entry and exit points into Mahikeng are closed from Thursday 19 April 2018 until further notice.

The ministry released the statement in light of protests around the Mahikeng Local Municipality.

The North West capital has seen violent demonstrations this week with protesters calling for Premier Supra Mahumapelo's resignation.

Vehicles have been torched with some properties vandalised.

HOD SUSPENDED

At the same time, the premier has suspended the embattled provincial health department’s HOD.

Thabo Lekalakala has been on forced leave pending an investigation into claims of corruption against him.

He is accused of benefitting from the Gupta family's Mediosa health scheme after admitting to a pre-payment of R30 million and a further R180 million to the company.

He also admitted that he enjoyed a four-day all-expenses-paid trip to India with his wife and friends, paid for by the same company.

Mahumapelo's spokesperson Brian Setswambung says the premier decided to suspend the HOD after seeing a preliminary report.

“Looking at what is contained in the report he took the decision to place him on suspension while the disciplinary proceedings are commencing against the HOD.”

Meanwhile, provincial executive committee spokesman Gerald Modise says Mahumapelo is the man to implement decisions of the African National Congress (ANC) to deal with greed, crime and corruption as resolved by the ANC’s 54th national conference.

He has called for calm in the province.

“Service delivery must be brought to our people. Healthcare facilities must be accessed by all our communities, our learners must go to school because currently, they are not. But we hope in a day or two the situation will be normalised.”

Additional reporting by Masechaba Sefularo and Pelane Phakgadi.