Villager pleads with Khama after questioning him over the pardoning of Kalafatis killers
A young villager from Pilane in the Katleng District last week shocked other villagers at a Kgotla meeting when he stood up to tell President Khama about his disappointment and fears after he pardoned John Kalafatis convicted murderers.
Samora Motlhagodi was however quick to plead with Khama to spare his life if ever he was angry that he had challenged his decision.
“I am one of the Batswana who are scared. We were shocked when you pardoned Kalafatis Killers. I fear God and I fear murder. It was my first time to see the President pardoning people who committed cold blood murder. Of all the convicted criminals, the President chose to forgive murderers. What message was he trying to demonstrate to us as a nation? Was he telling us that it is right when soldiers gun down an unarmed civilian?” said Motlhagodi
“I have one request though. After this question, may I continue to live,” he requested as other villagers spoke in hushed tones while a few clapped hands for him.
Khama did not respond to Motlhagodi but it was instead Attorney General, Athaliah Molokomme who responded by telling villagers that President Seretse Khama does not enjoy murder.
Molokomme explained that the President was only exercising his powers to forgive the convicted murderers.
“He is not the first President to afford convicts such a gesture. Former Presidents have pardoned convicts. Our constitution is clear. It gives the President powers to forgive,” Molokomme stated in response to one villager, concern.
The Attorney General also saw the opportunity to assure the people of their security as a nation and asked them to remain calm.
“Our constitution is clear. When there is murder, the accused are taken to court for justice to take its course. Forgiveness is human and even the Bible states that God forgives. What our President did was not abomination and it was not an easy decision to make. He made the decision following advice from a special committee stated in the Constitution. I want to tell you to be calm. I don’t want you to develop the kind of unnecessary fear that the previous speaker said he has,” Molokomme pointed out.
The pardoned security agents shot and killed 33-year old John Kalafatis in 2009 ,. They were convicted of murder in 2011 and consequently appealed against the judgment and lost. After serving a year of their 11-year sentence, President Khama pardoned them early this month.