9 Feb 2024
Wagner 2. Read first 8 February 2024.
The Wagner group also plunders the Central African Republic, Sudan, Madagscar and The Sahel.
8 Feb 2024
Wagner has a new name tag but still plunders Africa’s minerals (dailymaverick.co.za)
DOGS OF WAR ANALYSIS Wagner has a new name tag but still plunders Africa’s minerals
The Russian mercenary group gets mines in return for propping up autocratic leaders.
Under its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, the sinister Russian Wagner Group of mercenaries has for years plundered African mineral resources in several countries in exchange for ruthless protection of autocratic governments against their military, commercial and political foes.
Wagner has also clearly been a proxy for Russian President Vladimir Putin, pursuing his foreign policy in Africa – mainly by countering Western influence.
Prigozhin’s death in a plane crash northwest of Moscow on 23 August last year – very likely an assassination by Putin in retaliation for a failed mutiny from Ukraine in June – has changed the dynamics but not the basic game plan.
Wagner, the mercenary outfit at the core of the Wagner Group, which comprised several companies mainly in the mining field, has been brought under tighter Russian military intelligence control and is now called Africa Corps. Some mining operations continue, apparently under Prigozhin’s old Concord holding company.
6 Feb 2024
Centuries-old practice of corporal punishment in schools to end this year | Sunday Standard
Centuries-old practice of corporal punishment in schools to end this year. 4 February 2024 Sunday Standard Reporter.
On account of an apparent administrative delay, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development didn’t bring an amendment bill to the Education and Training Act during the last sitting of parliament as had been indicated by a minister. However, as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, that bill is on the way and when this year ends, the centuries-old practice of corporal punishment in schools will have ended.
Way before the arrival of missionaries and their schools and at least among the ethnically Tswana, corporal punishment was par for the course in initiation schools. Some missionaries write about witnessing the merciless and often unprovoked beating of initiates at bogwera – male initiation school. Where it was unprovoked, this beating was not meant to punish the subjects but to toughen them up. As late as the early 1970s, part of the graduation ceremony for Bakgatla young men returning from the bush entailed lining up in rows upon rows and being caned on the bare back. It was a point of pride for graduates being caned in this manner to not once flinch or scream out in pain. End of quotation. The Tswana have learned something from the San after all. Well done!
5 Feb 2024
On 29 June 2016 I wrote in this journal: "It is already bad enough that animals like elephants, rhinoceroses and the likes are being killed to use parts for traditional (not useful) medicine, or for other absurd rituals. But people too are still victim of these practices for rituals. At the moment a man is in court in Botswana because he has murdered a woman. He has admitted this and explained what he did with some parts of the body. This is too gruesome to repeat. An honorable task for the government to inform people that this is not the way to treat ones fellow-men." It is now 8 years later and still not certain that these killings have stopped.
3 Feb 2024
Is Debswana deliberately sitting on UB (University Botswana) report not to compensate Basarwa (San). 1 February 2024. Obusitse Kologwe
Over 300 Basarwa (San) families, who were relocated from Orapa, Letlhakane, and Damtshaa areas as early as the 1970s to make way for Debswana mining activities in Orapa and Letlhakane, are currently in limbo following the decision by the mining company to commission a report to verify their compensation claims over relocation.
Read the whole article via de link: Is Debswana deliberately sitting on UB report not to compensate Basarwa | Sunday Standard
23 Jan 2024
Read January 1, 2 and 3 first.
After reading the Botswana book "The screaming of the innocent", published in 2002, I think I understand why Batswana don't really answer my questions about Botswana, people and culture. The book is about a ritual murder. The story has similarities with the ritual murder in 1994. The book clearly describes why these types of murders have not yet been solved. The perpetrators have so much power that people who are (in)voluntarily involved do not dare to say anything. So it is particularly brave that there are now protests against it. I have not heard/read anything about protests against discriminations against the San.
The Dutch government would do well to take note of this culture of fear in Botswana when discussing the Africa strategy 2023 - 2032 and to assume that the government and related influential people will be in the top of the line for skimming off financial support.
16 Jan 2024
Vegetable shortage in Botswana. Helppppp!!! The guests in the Okavango Lodges will have to do without cucumber, lettuce, asparagus and red peppers!!
Sunday Standard reported: "As the government expands its vegetable import ban to include more items, the shortage list is getting longer. The ban has been expanded to include vegetables like cucumber, lettuce, asparagus and red pepper. Those vegetables are now hard to come by, even in big supermarkets with well-established supply chains. A chef at a luxury holiday resort in the Okavango Delta that hosts Hollywood A-listers says that since the beginning of this month, her resort has been struggling to get asparagus and red pepper. This is in addition to other vegetables on the original list whose supply has been erratic.
Import bans on certain types of vegetables is a long-standing government policy but in 2022 such policy assumed new stringency. The Ministry of Agriculture imposed an import ban on 16 types of vegetables and announced that the list of items on the list will keep growing. While some have alleged underhanded political intrigue, the official purpose of the ban is to stimulate domestic production, bolster food security and economically empower citizens.
7 Jan 2024
Read first 6 January.
Malnutrition. In efforts to curb the problem government gives food hampers at clinics to supplement children’s diet but this is not effective as the foods are then consumed by the whole family.
“We are trying to address this at the clinic by giving children tsabana, cooking oil and beans but we are failing to achieve our goals because when parents take these foods, they consume it as the whole family and some sell them to buy alcohol.”
Tsabana is a supplementary feed for children uptill 5 years. Understandably the whole family shares this, when they are hungry.
This problem of parents neglecting their children because of alcoholism, resulting in malnutrition, is nothing new. in my search for Xwaa, years ago, I came in contact with Social Services in Gantsi. It was clear there were not enough Social Workers to support parents who could not take care of their children, let alone find out what the cause of their alcoholism was.
6 Jan 2024
Malnutrition rife in Gantsi region. The Midweek Sun 20 Dec 2023 BY KEIKANTSE LESEMELA
Ghanzi District Health Management Team Coordinator, Dr Ketshabile Mosheti says malnutrition remains a major problem in the region resulting in the highest number of child mortality.
Speaking during the walk for Health Campaign organised by Sandfire, Dr Ketshabile revealed that they have been trying to address the malnutrition issue in D’Kar but are failing to achieve desired results because parents are challenged with several issues including lack of employment, low income, alcohol abuse and child neglect. She said there are 4 150 children under five years (in Botswana?) and majority of these children (more than 2 125?) are malnourished.
“The national prevalence for the Ministry of Health is 2.9 percent but Ghanzi district is more than 10 percent, way much higher,” she revealed, adding that currently this year, Ghanzi region has registered 40 deaths of children under five years due to diarrhoea caused by malnutrition.
Now I would like to know if most or all of these children are San children.
3 Jan 2024
Read first January 1 and 2.
The question now is: are these types of murders still being committed in Botswana, or is the fear that it will happen still so great that people are convinced that it is happening. It is hoped that people are now convinced that something so gruesome is out of date. For those who still doubt this, below is a link to an event.
Murder of Segametsi Mogomotsi - Wikipedia
2 Jan 2024
Read first 1 January 2024.
Molepolole up in smoke
Friday, December 01, 2023 | 570 Views | Pini Bothoko
For years now, Molepolole, the home to Bakwena tribe, one of the major ethnic groups in Botswana, has never experienced quietness as it kept on trending across social media platforms following strings of horrible killings. Cases of missing people in Molepolole come a long way and some people have been missing for decades now and to date their family members are yet to find closure.
However, there have been myths surrounding the disappearance of people in Botswana and for what purpose. Every year the police record high numbers of people who go missing. Most of the people were found dead and suspected to have been killed. Historically, there is a belief that people are abducted, killed and their body parts removed for rituals. To date, residents of Molepolole are yet to find out who is or are really behind the abductions of people. But, enraged residents strongly believe there are killers popularly known as ‘Bo- rraboko’ in their midst. Villagers are of the view that these cases mainly spiral out of control towards general elections. (The next general elections are in 2024.)
They claim some politicians use people’s body parts for rituals to strengthen themselves ahead of elections, accusations that are yet to be proven. In the midst of the recent riots that left houses, the village Kgotla shelter and cemeteries burnt to ashes, one would say Molepolole needs a permanent solution to these recurring incidents. Dubbed the country’s crime capital across social media platforms, it was only a matter of time for Molepolole residents to explode in riots as the village has been struggling to contain escalating killings that have since been described as ‘ritual murders’. In the past, the police admitted that policing the area was not easy due to the recurring incidents. Last week, Molepolole came to a standstill as villagers ran amok burning houses, tyres, blocking the road following the suspected ritual murder of Phenyo Jakoba (35), a taxi driver who was found dead and his body badly decomposed with some body parts allegedly missing. The matter left the whole nation reeling in shock and calling for a solution to these cases. Sharing their concerns across social media platforms, Batswana are calling for an urgent permanent solution to these killings and challenging the police to be not taking the cases seriously in ensuring that at least missing people were found alive. Jakoba’s death sparked a vigilante attack after he was found dead and with his body badly decomposed recently at the Mosinki lands in the outskirts of the village with some body parts allegedly missing.
1 Jan 2024
When I was in Botswana in 2018, someone told me that my bones and other body parts were very valuable because I am "white". Traders in muti (medicines to transfer a curse on someone, or to make a trade deal favorable, or to protect curses that others want to impose through muti) would like to use me, for my bones are worth more than those of dark-skinned people. The advice was not to go to the shops alone. I didn't pay any attention to this.
In 2019, I learned from a reliable source that in 1994, before starting a political career, a Botswanan had held a three-day meeting attended by Africa's best traditional "magic doctor" to give him protection against his opponents. Apparently he succeeded, because he now has a high position. I do not know if he still believes that magic is the reason for his success.
In any case, the fear of ritual killings still continues.
28 Dec 2023
The summary of the Dutch Africa Strategy 2023-2032 states: "Collaboration with Africa will, more than was the case in the past, be shaped on an equal footing." Get about ten people together and ask them what this means. There is a good chance that all opinions on this matter will be different. I find it a confusing question. To start with: Is the comparison about a very long time ago? In a past when there was no equality at all? With a little creativity one can say that there is already quite a bit of equality between the Netherlands and Botswana.
Take the incomes of the Dutch Prime Minister and the President of Botswana, compared to the minimum wage in their country. Very roughly calculated (it is unknown to me which incomes are gross or net) the Botswana President earns "only" 5.5 times as much annually as the minimum wage in his country. The Dutch Prime Minister earns annually 7 times the minimum wage in the Netherlands. Doesn't make much difference. But, the Dutch King earns 31 times as much as the minimum wage. A President is actually a cross between a Prime Minister and a King. (A King is not elected, but a President is.) So this is comparing apples with pears.
On December 23, 2023, the newspaper Trouw reported: Poor. Free meals. The number of schools participating in the free school meals program for vulnerable students has risen to approximately 1,900. That is a quarter of all primary and secondary schools. In May, there were approximately 1,300 participating schools. The program was launched earlier this year; schools which have 30 percent or more of the students come from a low-income family can use it. The project is organized by the Red Cross and the Youth Education Fund. Botswana children in government schools have received one or two meals a day since 1966, even if that is sometimes only a bowl of boiled beans.
27 Dec 2023
CKGR burial case 27 December 2023.
Mmegi published on 27 December 2023 the follow up on the burial case.
--Smith Moeti who is a cousin to Pitseng’s son, Lesiame Pitseng, told MmegiOnline that the burial ceremony did not proceed as planned because other family members were unavailable. He said a new date would be set as soon as the entire family is available to attend the burial ceremony.
“We had informed the funeral parlour about the intention to bury the deceased, and they invited us to come and discuss how the process could be carried out,” Moeti said. “They informed us that they would get the body ready for burial. “The other challenge we are facing is the vehicle that would be used to transport the body.”
Moeti said after Pitseng’s death, the government was determined to bury him in New Xade or any other area outside CKGR.
However the family has instead decided that Pitseng would be buried in Metsiamanong settlement inside the CKGR.--
21 Dec 2023
Mmegi 15 December 2023. Tsaone Basimanebotlhe.
President Masisi assured into Parliament..
The financial perks of the highest office in the land have finally come to fruition. President Mokgweetsi Masisi will now receive a constituency allowance of P19,378 per month, pushing his monthly earnings to over P100,000 (with a salary increase of approximately P20,837. This adjustment will take effect in April 2024. (minimum salary 2023 is BWP 7,34 per hour, x 48 hours = BWP 342,32 per week )
“This development is the epitome of greed, consistent with the Masisi presidency. We saw this with the Banyana Farms issue and the animals he was awarded by the government for game farming,” he added. Saleshando proposed an amendment for the new clause to be removed, but the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) MPs refused.
Mfundisi believes that the new arrangement is not in the best interest of Botswana and its people. “This raises questions about the implications of this change and whether it is appropriate for the President to receive additional funding. The President only comes to Parliament when delivering speeches. He does not participate in debates and does not have a constituency to take care of,” Mfundisiaid.
13 Dec 2023
Balala – the long-suffering tribe being shamed out of public visibility
10 December 2023 Sunday Standard Reporter
Can a tribe disappear while its members continue to exist in plain sight? The answer is yes if you are referring to Balala.
The product of admixture between Bakgalagadi and the !Xoo, a Bushman tribe, Balala are mostly found in the Kgalagadi, Gantsi and Southern districts in Botswana. Balala are also found in the North West and Northern Cape provinces in South Africa. Some western scholars who study Southern Africa’s so-called indigenous tribes have stated that Balala are “disappearing.” That is because very few of them – especially in the Southern District, freely identify as such nowadays.
Ordinarily, a story of this nature would quote some of its members and mention their names but this is no ordinary story. Concerted effort by Sunday Standard to interview Balala didn’t bear fruit because as someone put it, “nobody wants to identify as a Molala.” Some Balala live in Borolong villages but a Morolong who lives in the Goodhope area said that in extreme cases, one risks physical assault (“you can even get stabbed with a knife”) if, even in private conversation, refer to someone as a Molala. Part of the reason is that such descriptor is now used by some and is perceived as a slur. The strangest moment of the latter interaction was when the source “outed” someone who is quite well-known to people who follow the news.
5 Dec 2023
CKGR burial case.
The family of the late Gaoberekwe Pitseng who died on the 21st of December 2021 is finally planning burial for the old man in the next 22 days. Smith Moeti says they gave government a chance to bury their father. Now they will go ahead and do it themselves, inside CKGR.
Speaking to The Midweek Sun this past Tuesday, Smith Moeti who considered Pitseng his father, said that they intend to bury Pitseng on the same day he died. They will bury him on the 21st December 2023, exactly two years later at the Central Kgalagadi Game Reserve (CKGR). CKGR is where government has denied the family permission to bury Pitseng, saying he can be buried anywhere else, but the CKGR national park. The matter reached the courts of law with Moeti holding the hand of the deceased son, Lesiame Pitseng firmly, and together they argued that their father should not be denied an opportunity to be buried in his ancestral land. However, the family lost the case and when an appeal was lodged, the Court of Appeal upheld the ruling of the lower court. Aggrieved, the Pitseng family has now reported Botswana to the African Commission hoping that it will lead to the matter being taken to the African Court. Moeti said while they await the decision of the African Commission, they want to continue with burial because the case is no longer about burying the old man but the rights of all Basarwa born and bred in CKGR. “We want to bury him; we do not see anyone stopping us. We will not bury him anywhere but CKGR. We told government that if they want, they can bury him at a place they want because we will not take him anywhere. They have failed to do so, now we are burying him,” Moeti said. Asked if they will be footing the mortuary service bill at Joyce Parlour for having kept the body for so long, Moeti said it was not their responsibility. “We did not delay with burial, government did. We were ready to bury him as soon as possible but they stopped us. I hope the funeral parlour will not try and refuse with the body. They know who took the body there, it was not us” he said. He said that in their Sesarwa culture, when a person dies, they keep them inside a house for a day and a half then bury them around noon on day two. They do not take people to the morgue. Reached for comment, owner of Joyce Funeral Parlour, who identified herself as Joyce, said the matter was exhausting her. “I have just come out of a meeting regarding that issue. Kindly call the office for answers,” she said. Pressed further, Joyce said she expects the Pitseng family to foot the bill saying the body had deteriorated so much in appearance that it was no longer a body but just a skeleton. Her phone then disconnected. When her office was reached, Joyce Funeral Parlour explained that they do not have the bill readily available for sharing, they promised to share it once they have the information with them.
13 Nov 2023
Read November 11 first.
It would indicate respect if King Willem Alexander of The Netherlands would take interest in the suffering that the Dutch have caused to the indigenous population (San, Khoisan, Muslims, etc.) in southern Africa and consider discussing this with these groups. Perhaps the San in Botswana will be recognized by their own government as the First People of southern Africa and will be treated respectfully by the government and people of other tribes.
King Willem Alexander does not have to look far for some information. Information sent by me has been forwarded to the secretariat of the Royal House. The Internet offers many other documents to gain an independent picture of the past and present life of the First People in southern Africa.
11 Nov 2023
British king acknowledges colonial atrocities in Kenya.Botswana Guardian 10 Nov 2023 Tonny Raymond Kirabira, Teaching Fellow, University of Portsmouth ( The Conversation)
On his official visit to Kenya, King Charles III acknowledged Britain’s colonial era “wrongdoings”. He also paid tribute to Kenyan soldiers who had participated in the first and second world wars on behalf of Britain. His visit coincided with Kenya’s 60th independence anniversary. British colonial rule in Kenya was characterised by injustices. Among these were forceful dispossession of indigenous people’s land, torture, detention and brutal suppression of anti- colonial movements. An excerpt from King Charles’s speech is useful to decipher the value and implications of his apology, from an international law perspective: The wrongdoings of the past are a cause of the greatest sorrow and the deepest regret. There were abhorrent and unjustifiable acts of violence committed against Kenyans as they waged, as you said at the United Nations, a painful struggle for independence and sovereignty – and for that, there can be no excuse. In coming back to Kenya, it matters greatly to me that I should deepen my own understanding of these wrongs, and that I meet some of those whose lives and communities were so grievously affected.
10 Nov 2023
Citizens want tighter regulation of natural resources extraction
A special survey module included in the Afrobarometer Round 9 questionnaire that explores citizens’ experiences and perceptions of pollution, environmental governance, and natural resource extraction, the survey says in Botswana, a majority of citizens consider pollution a serious problem in their community and cite trash disposal as their most important environmental issue.
Most see it as the responsibility of ordinary citizens to reduce pollution, but they also expect much greater effort by the government to protect the environment – though not at the cost of jobs and incomes. While their perceptions of natural resource extraction are more positive than negative, Batswana overwhelmingly favour tighter government regulation of the industry to reduce its damaging impacts on the environment.
30 Oct 2023
Research by the University of Amsterdam and the Kieskompas (to find out which political party suits you best in the next election) showed that Dutch people have started to believe more in spirits and ghosts. Approximately 16% of Dutch people consider this certain or very likely. (source column Good Morning in Trouw, written by Johan van Heerde)
I am trying to explain to people in Botswana that ghosts and spirits do not exist. And that black cats do not associate with evil spirits at night. And now people in The Netherlands are starting to believe in it.
27 Oct 2023
Corporal punishment to continue on bare buttocks – gov’t
Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | 2070 Views | Larona Makhaiza
With corporal punishment currently applied on bare buttocks, Minister of Justice Machana Shamukuni has revealed that the government has no intention to consider reviewing or amending Regulation Three of the Criminal Procedure.
Shamukuni was responding to a question at the ongoing 14th Meeting of the Fourth Ntlo Ya Dikgosi (NYC) yesterday. Kgosi Lotlamoreng II of Barolong had asked the minister if the government would consider amending the regulation and not inflict pain on the bare buttocks. He said the punishment should be on the back.
Shamukuni stated that government has no plans to reconsider the punishment. “Regulation three of Criminal Procedure (corporal punishment) which stipulates that corporal punishment shall be administered on the bare buttocks only and on no other part of the body, was drafted after due consultation with the public and medical consideration and advisement,” said the minister.
Additionally, Shamukuni further pointed out that administering corporal punishment on bare buttocks is not detrimental.
“There are further safeguards that are put in place when administering corporal punishment to ensure that the said punishment is not dangerously injurious. Examples of these safeguards or precautionary measures are that no sentence shall be passed upon any females or passed upon males who are more than 40 years of age,” he revealed.
Moreover, he stated that corporal punishment shall only be inflicted on people who have been certified by medical practitioners to be fit for such a punishment.
“It is further requirement that such punishment be inflicted in the presence of a medical officer or if is not available, in the presence of a magistrate so that they may order the stop of further infliction of punishment if they consider convicted person is not in a fit state of health to undergo the remainder of the punishment,” Shamukuni said. ((Corporal punishment also includes the death penalty. If the victim is about to faint, is the noose around the neck then loosened?)
He added that a certificate shall be transmitted to the court which passed the sentence or to a court of competent jurisdiction to substitute corporal punishment with another punishment.
23 Oct 2023
Mushrooming of squatters worries Boteti chair
The Monitor (Botswana) 28 Aug 2023 Tsaone Basimanebotlhe
The leadership of Boteti District Council has expressed deep concern regarding the mushrooming of squatters from the Basarwa community seeking opportunities in Letlhakane.
Council chairperson for the district Ketshwereng Galeragwe, who described the squatter camps as unsightly, told The Monitor of the dire circumstances the individuals face.
“It seems these are forced by lack of jobs at the cattle post and come to Letlhakane hoping for a better life. Unfortunately, they find themselves worse off with no basics like food and shelter,” he said on Friday.
Galeragwe appealed to the broader Letlhakane community, including businesses, to extend a helping hand to the Basarwa squatters. “Given our understanding of their situation, it’s our responsibility to come to their aid. By joining forces, we can make a significant difference,” he emphasised the importance of collective action. With Letlhakane currently hosting more than 6,000 squatters, including some who are taking advantage of Basarwa’s plight, Galeragwe proposed that community leaders should develop strategies to address the situation. He said this could involve finding ways to assist squatters in obtaining plots for land ownership to reduce the need for squatting.
The council leader also emphasised that the failure to resolve matters concerning the waiting list for plot allocations contributes to the issue of squatting. Furthermore, to combat the high unemployment rate in Letlhakane, Galeragwe explained that some individuals migrate to the village with hope of securing jobs in the mining industry.
When these opportunities don’t materialise, some may turn to criminal activities, which have become a growing concern in the area. In response to these challenges, Galeragwe underscored the necessity for leaders to devise strategies to combat unemployment and youth-related issues.
He warned that ignoring these challenges could exacerbate the crime rate in the region. Amongst other concerns, Galeragwe also highlighted the issue of high levels of violence in the area, often linked to excessive alcohol consumption. He issued a plea to residents of Letlhakane and its environs, urging responsible drinking habits as a means of curbing this problem.
1 Oct 2023
Woes of forgotten citizenry: 57 years later. (Botswana celebrated on 30 September it's 57th Independence Day.)
It’s not just the senior citizens of the country that marvel over the resounding economic success of the nation of Botswana. Over the length and breadth of the world, Botswana is hailed as an oasis of some sort, a nation of prosperity and wealth, a picture of a nation of all things galore but that narrative is where the line begins to blur.
In 2022, the World Bank flagged Botswana as one of the most unequal countries on Earth. Statistics Botswana reports that 503,000 people live below the poverty datum line, surviving with less than P27.95 daily on a real adjusted basis.
While the World Bank reports on these gross inequalities and high poverty levels, elsewhere in the world, Botswana is seen as a land flowing with milk and honey, even as the majority of citizens survive on crumbs and live in poverty.
The Botswana Institute for Development Policy Analysis (BIDPA) has also revealed that the economic playing field in the country is rigged against women, with the earning gap between the two genders being miles apart and the development of the country being largely skewed to the favour of males.
Without a shadow of doubt, the nation has achieved an unfathomable economic growth, surely greater than originally expected. However, eyebrows begin to rise when the same brush that paints the success story of Botswana’s economy, tries to smear over disparities in the economic livelihoods of Batswana.
The question is can the mere Motswana claim that his/her country’s sparkling economy is actually trickling down to their daily lives? Can the ordinary citizen celebrate independence like a true economically liberated citizen?
29 Sep 2023
Received a message today that the money for the overnight stay at the B&B in Pretoria has been credited to the B&B's bank account. This transfer took 25 days.
26 Sep 2023
This morning I read an article in the Botswanan newspaper Mmegi about the export of minerals by plane in Botswana, by the airline Air Botswana. While we are busy reducing air traffic due to CO2 emissions, Air Botswana thinks it is a good idea to use the planes of their ailing company for the transport of minerals.
21 Sep 2023
The money which was transferred on September 4 to the Baytree Guesthouse bank account in Pretoria, South Africa, has not yet been credited to their account. A friend in Pretoria reported that it takes at least 14 working days before an oversees transfer is credited to someones bank account.
17 Sep 2023
Read from September 11, 2023.
The visa application was accepted on September 15. Because the passport is sent with the other documents to the Netherlands, Lesego had to obtain proof from the Botswana Immigration office in Pretoria that she was allowed to travel through South Africa. She was almost stopped at the border because the customs computer system due to "load shedding" (due to a national shortage of electricity capacity, villages, towns and districts are alternately cut off from the supply for a number of hours or parts of a day, so that the connected areas receive better quality of electricity) did not work properly, or perhaps, not at all. Fortunately, there was understanding for her situation and she was allowed to continue.
15 Sep 2023
Read from September 11th.
Visa application appointment September 14. Lesego reported that two documents were missing from the documents to be submitted. The bank statements of my income and a letter from the director of her school. These were sent to her. She also had to fill in a new application form, which is being used in 2023. A conversation with an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs revealed that I had obtained the wrong checklist from the internet. Lesego has a new appointment this morning, September 15, to hand it in.
11 Sep 2023
It is a long journey to come to the Netherlands as a tourist (maximum stay 90 days).
In an earlier message I mentioned that in 2024 we would look at whether, and if so how, we should continue supporting the student (let's call her Lesego). She was unsure what to do after her schooling. (In Botswana, the school year starts in January.) Maybe a gap year? She very much wanted to get to know the world outside Botswana. We decided to invite her to stay with us for three months. The response from Lesego and her parents came quickly. They gladly accepted such a great opportunity.
Airtime had to be purchased in Botswana to have regular contact via WhatsApp and email. Lesogo did not have a bank account. It took more than two weeks before the application for one was accomplished. The first bank had the condition that money was deposited into the account every month. She explained that it would be a temporary account and what it was needed for. After three days she would get the answer. There as no answer after a week. She was able to open an account at another bank.
Visa application. There is no Dutch Embassy in Botswana, but there is a Dutch honorary consulate. It is not possible to apply for a visa there. Nearest Embassy is in Pretoria, South Africa. Bus tickets, overnight stays, appointment visa application had to be made. Where to start.
The bus from Ghanzi to Gaborone does not have to be booked, departs at 6 a.m., arrival Gaborone at 2:15 p.m. Bus to Pretoria: 6:30 am, arrival 1:15 pm. This bus must be booked and paid for. This did not work, because payment was only possible with bank cards that people use in South Africa. Emails sent to the bus company for help were not answered. Lesogo's brother called the company, but got no contact. Finally, their sister went to the office in Gaborone and made the booking.
So they had to stay the night in Gaborone and Pretoria. This was possible in Gaborone with their sister. A Guesthouse has been booked for two nights in Pretoria.
After that the visa application appointment could be made, for after the final exam of Lesogo, December 14. The months of October, November and December appeared to be fully booked. (Later was not possible, the application must be made at least 45 days before departure.) The appointment was made for September 14 (two days after the start of the last school term) at 11.20 am. It was not possible to take the bus back that day, it leaves at 1:30 PM.
The itinerary is: Day 1: Ghanzi to Gaborone. Day 2: Gaborone to Pretoria. Day 3: In Pretoria. Day 4: Pretoria to Gaborone. Day 5: Gaborone to Ghanzi.
If the application could be made in Gaborone, the travel time would be three days. Because of the risk of kidnapping in South Africa, Lesego's older brother travels with her. The costs for the trip to Pretoria are therefore also considerably higher than to Gaborone.