Botswana Council of Women (BCW) property has been put up for sale after Miss Botswana 2013 Rosemary Keofitlhetse and her runners-up sued them for failing to give them their prizes. A notice of sale in execution, which appeared in local newspapers this week, state that a certain piece of land being Lot 13106, situated at portion of Lot 9192, Gaborone, measuring 3048 m2, held under title deed No. 356/ 1989 dated 9th May 1989 made in favour of the Defendant, Botswana Council of Women with developments , with one` flat, comprising of one kitchen, sitting room, bath, two toilets, two bedrooms, two class rooms, kitchen, toilets, storeroom, toilets and playground. These are to be auction on July 25, 2016 in Gaborone.
The three former beauty queens Rosemary Keofitlhetse, Betty Setlholo and Khumo Leburu are cited as the first, second and third plaintiff respectively. Signs that Keofitlhetse and BCW have fallen out glared last year when the beauty queen boycotted Miss Botswana 2015 pageant, which led to the new queen being crowned by Miss Botswana 1995, Monica Somolekae. Things took a heated turn at a press conference held after the pageant when journalists confronted the organisers about Keofitlhetse’s absence. When questioned as to why she was not at the event, pageant spokesperson Tshepo Maphanyane said the question should be asked Keofitlhetse and not them. She said as the new Miss Botswana committee they had nothing to do with what happened with the former pageants and cannot address those.
Keofitlhetse was quoted saying that her absence from the pageant was motivated by BCW’s failure to give her the prize attached to her crown. BCW had announced that her prizes included a classy Peugeot RCZ worth P400 000. Meanwhile Keofitlhetse declined to speak to this publication and instead referred us to her legal representatives at Akheel Jinabhai & Associates, who were also reluctant to discuss the matter, saying that their client wanted to keep a low profile on the case. “Although this case started last year, we deliberately kept it under wraps to protect our clients from public scrutiny,” said Itumeleng Tebagano of Akheel Jinabhai & Associates.
The three are not the first Miss Botswana winners to raise the hackles against BCW over its failure to honour its end of the deal. Miss Botswana 2011 Karabo Sampson had also accused the council of failing to give her prize money after winning the title. Sampson and her family also accused BCW of taking long to provide her with other prizes like accommodation and other goodies included in her package.
Sampson was, however, later paid her cash prize of P100 000 by 63 entertainment, the then Miss Botswana organisers. Efforts to reach BCW for comment proved futile as its president Franscinah Ramatlhakwane was said to be out of office.