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Kgosi to Magosi a run of the mill

Publishing Date : 08 May, 2018

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This past week President Mokgweetsi Masisi dropped a bombshell when he decided to bring to an end the provocative regime of former President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s blue eyed boy, Col Isaac Kgosi as the country’s spy chief, replacing him with Peter Magosi. In vernacular connotations of both names Kgosi and Magosi bear the same meaning, an acquaintance of Tswana royals or tribal leaders that has a cultural appreciative regard of leadership. At one point Brigadier Peter Magosi was Kgosi’s boss at Botswana Defence Force (BDF), he is narrowly criticised for building the ‘monster’ that is Isaac Seabelo Kgosi. Are the recent developments at the country’s top intelligence office anything Batswana can celebrate, a relaxed DAVE BAAITSE ponders.


Having joined BDF in 1985 at the rank of Officer Cadet, Brigadier Peter Fana Magosi rose among the ranks progressing to become the number one Infantry Brigade Commander. He is reported to have been at some point a member of the Special Forces which forms the cream of any military and is envied by many within the armed forces. During their days at the army, the two men ‘kgosi’s’ also trained as Snipers- paramilitary marksmen who operate to maintain effective visual contact with the enemy and engage targets from concealed positions or at distances exceeding their detection capabilities. They are both dangerous in their own way, with vast experience in intelligence and ‘matters of national security.’


In 2016 a letter authored by then President Lieutenant General Khama’ Magosi’s former boss surfaced recommending the expulsion of Brigadier Magosi from the army. His forced early retirement was not without controversy, he was at some point embroiled in a fight with the then BDF Commander Lt General Gaolatlhe Galebotswe. The relationship between the two commanders turned sour after Brigadier Magosi refused to hand over some intelligence officers to his successor Col Cullen Nkete- current head of the BDF Military Intelligence.


Some social commentators say Magosi is even more dangerous than his student Isaac Kgosi. At some point, Magosi and Sergeant Dzikamani Mothobi were investigated following the alleged disappearance of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) intelligence surveillance equipment. A Masters in Defence Studies graduate of Kings College in UK, Magosi was prior to his sacking the Chief of Staff and Commander of Ground Forces.


Having enjoyed the opportunity of being in Khama’s inner circles, Brigadier Magosi was looking forward to steering the BDF ship before those dreams were cut short. He always had the backing of President Khama’s young brothers Tshekedi and Anthony Khama. He was indeed a loved man and commanded respect, following his forced exit at BDF he shockingly resurfaced as head of intelligence at the department of wildlife where he was hired by Tshekedi Khama.


Based on the merits the two men as their names would suggest are nothing but a blue print of one another and Batswana have nothing to celebrate. It appears pretty obvious that the student may have been doing what he was taught by the master. And in this case, the master may come back willing to prove that indeed he is the master and the student was wrong to have taken him on. 


In common cause research point out that in most of the career of a student; The Mentor overshadows the student in terms of ability. This is certainly justified, since it is the intention of a student to become more skilled by learning from a more experienced mentor. However, there often comes a time when the student surpasses the mentor in ability. It is at this point at which the student reaches his full ability and becomes a master of his trade. This may result in the mentor becoming an Obsolete Mentor. If the student is arrogant, when he proves he is superior, he often utters a Stock Phrase or some variation thereof from which the trope name originates: "The student has surpassed the teacher."


If the mentor is the nice type, he will often be highly proud of his student (though perhaps with a bit of ego-stroking about his own teaching skills). If the student has surpassed his mentor but hasn't reached his full potential, his old master may tell him to find a new master who will teach the student more. In this scenario it is yet to be seen if the mighty ‘Mzico’ who defied the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) some few weeks ago will be able to stop his master Magosi.


The battle is expected to continue between the two. An unknown source writes, “If the mentor is the jealous type, he may be quite jealous and resentful of the student's ability, and in extreme cases, the mentor may become the student's enemy. When both the teacher and the student are evil, with the student learning the ways of evil from the teacher, the student often proves his superiority by killing the teacher.”

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