- SA's Ramaphosa distances himself from discussing Khama charges

There is a saying that karma is a b***, because of how nasty karma often metes out in the nature of retribution. After all, karma never misses an address - what goes around always comes around, whether it takes months or years.

Bangwato Kgosikgolo Ian Khama, also Botswana's former president, finds himself in the same predicament that Kgosikgolo Kgafela Kgafela of Bakgatla found himself in several years ago. The Bakgatla leader left Botswana for South Africa on a self-imposed exile after a warrant of arrest was issued against him over a flogging incident and destruction of power lines in Mochudi. At the time, it was widely speculated that the real cause of the contention Khama had with Kgafela was his (Kgafela) insistence that Government should prioritise a review and change of the Constitution.

No one would have ever imagined that at this point, Khama himself, would be a "runaway" and seemingly hesitant to face and dance to the music. After all, if he is as innocent as he proclaims, surely he would stand tall and fight for his justice and for the truth to prevail. His hesitance to come to Botswana has raised suspicion.

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa this past weekend diplomatically distanced himself from the nasty ongoing feud between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and former President Khama during the fifth session of the Bi-National Commission of Cooperation between South Africa and Botswana held in Pretoria, South Africa.

Ramaphosa told media that to his understanding, the former President is on a visit to the country, and not "in hiding" as speculated. He however indicated that Masisi had during their conversations raised the issue of Khama, and the charges that await him back home. "We only discussed the matter to the extent of him (Masisi) informing me that charges have been preferred against the former president here in South Africa,” he told media.

The former president, who is in self-imposed exile in SA has been slapped with 14 charges mostly related to unlawful possession of firearms. Khama is also accused of unlawful possession of firearms with others, and stands accused among others of procuring firearms, unlawful possession and receiving stolen property. On the first count, he is accused of receiving a pistol from former intelligence boss Isaac Kgosi being the State property, knowing or having reason that it was a stolen property.

On the second count, Khama is accused of unlawful possession of the same pistol without a licence. The charge sheet goes on to accuse Khama on count three of procuring the registration of a firearm by false pretence. Khama is also accused of providing false information to a licencing officer and the Central Arms Registry. On count four, Khama faces unlawful possession of firearm which is said to be a 9mm Jericho pistol without a licence issued in accordance with and under the Arms and Ammunition Act, while in count five the former army general is accused of ownership of a firearm not registered in accordance with Arms Act.

Unlawful possession of a firearm forms count seven where he is accused of being in possession of a 9mm pistol without a licence. In count eight Khama is accused of ownership of the same pistol. On count 11 he is accused of unlawful possession of a special firearm. Count 12 deals with the aiding and abetting unlawful possession of firearms. The last count of 13 still tackles the aiding and abetting unlawful possession of a firearm where he is accused of on or about October 8, 2019 aided and abetted Isaac Kgosi being a person not exempted to unlawfully possess a firearm.

This week, Khama in an interview with South African media said that he "would see" if he would travel to Botswana to attend the next hearing for the case slated for June 6. The former President has maintained that Masisi has launched a "witch-hunt" against him and his cronies, premised on a personal vendetta.