Politicians fondly remember the late Motsamai Mpho

RIP: Mpho Motsamai

The departed veteran politician, Motsamai Mpho has been remembered as the only political activist of his era, who until his death was still active in politics.

This observation was made by the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) President Dumelang Saleshando on Wednesday at Mpho’s Memorial Service at Trinity Church in Gaborone.

Mpho died at the age of 91 at Princess Marina Hospital last week Wednesday.

Paying tribute to one of Botswana’s political forerunner and a staunch human rights activist, Saleshando said unlike the current crop of politicians, Mpho treated politics not as a retirement job but a calling, which was more about serving the people and not earning.

The memorial service was attended by several politicians and cabinet ministers as well as the country’s  political heavy weights among them Dr Gaositwe Chiepe and former President Sir Ketumile Masire.

Masire shared Saleshando’s sentiments, as he recalled how much of a steadfast politician Mpho was. He described him as a very responsible politician who did not shy away from expressing his views no matter who was in disagreement.

Masire reminisced about his second meeting with Mpho at  the Drill Hall trial of 1956,after first meeting him about a decade before at high school in Tigerkloof.

“We were sad to hear that Mpho was among the ANC 67 Treason leaders who were arrested by the apartheid government following the adoption of the Freedom Charter, but again we were equally proud that he was amongst those who fought against oppression in South Africa”, Masire  stated.

Mpho joined the South African ruling party the ANC in 1952 before he was declared a prohibited immigrant in South Africa in 1960, after spending time in the Pretoria Prison when he was arrested for entering Westonaria Location without a permit after organising committee members of the Randfontein Old Location to burn their passes.

He later co-founded the first political party in the then Bechuanaland; the Bechuanaland Peoples (BPP) Party, but later left it due to internal strife to form another party, Botswana Independence Party (BIP )

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