Kgosana post vacant as government loses chieftainship case

Government has lost with costs in a matter where Albert Segaetsho and 52 others challenged the appointment of Letlaareng Kekhutlile as Kgosana of Mmutlane village.

Delivering judgement last week, Lobatse High Court Judge, Modiri Letsididi ruled that the decision of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to appoint Lekhutlile as Kgosana of Mmutlane be set aside.

The Judge declared the post of Mmutlane Kgosana vacant and appointment referred back to the tribe.

Elders are to consult with the community of Mmutlane to designate a Kgosana in accordance with the law or established norms and practices. Kekhutlile was appointed Mmutlane Kgosana in 2020 and inaugurated in 2021.

According to court documents, in 2019, Kgosana Lomatsoga Gaogane's contract as a Kgosana of Mmutlane was not renewed. He had held the position of Kgosana since 1997.

On the 12th of December 2019, all the residents of Mmutlane were called by the village elders to attend a meeting at the main Kgotla. At the meeting, attendees were told that they have to nominate a Kgosana for the Village.

The name of Ntshadi Dlodlo was mentioned to fill up the vacancy created by the absence of Kgosana Gaogane.

There were a number of queries raised by attendees particularly on the chosen individual and the manner in which the process was conducted. Notwithstanding the queries, Dlodlo was designated the Kgosana.

However, Dlodlo declined the nomination and suggested that her sister Kekhutlile, take her place instead.

In July 2020, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development appointed Kekhutlile as Kgosana.

This was despite concerns from some members of the village that Kekhutlile’s appointment was un-procedural. They also argued that there was no consultation made when Dlodlo was nominated.

Court found that indeed there was no consultation made, the record of proceedings for the meetings held showed there was no consultation with the people of the area.

Moreover, court found that the nomination of Dlodlo came from one of the members of the community that had gathered at the Kgotla.

Letsididi said that when nomination for a Kgosana was sought, a member of Dikgosi delegation from Serowe, Kgosi Motalaote, stated categorically that the meeting was called not to “discuss chieftainship” but to "present the ruler of the Kgotla - the daughter of Serogola, Ms Dlodlo”.

“From then on, even before the views of the community were sought and considered, the meeting clearly was not one of consultation but one where Dlodlo was imposed on the community.”

“In all the circumstances, I find that the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development's decision to appoint Kekhutlile as Kgosana of Mmutlane was tainted with illegality,” said Judge Letsididi.