Malema on Botswana visa restrictions list

Gaborone – EFF leader Julius Malema is one of 40 foreign nationals Botswana has placed on visa restrictions since President Ian Khama took power, Home Affairs Minister Edwin Batshu has told Parliament.

Batshu was responding to a question posed by another legislator, Dithapelo Keorapetse, who wanted to know how many foreigners needed to apply for a visa when entering the country, a Sapa correspondent reported.

The legislator wanted to know what countries the foreigners were from. Batshu said they included South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, and the United Kingdom.

"This is done for monitoring purposes, hence as a country, the protection of our national interests and security are a priority," Batshu said.

British advocate Gordon Bennett, who previously represented Basarwa (San) people in court cases, Malema and Dali Mpofu of the Economic Freedom Fighters, and Survival International's Miriam Ross are among those required to apply for visas to enter Botswana.

Bennett and Malema had applied for visas once before but their applications were rejected. The country did not disclose reasons for refusing them entry.

The EFF has since issued a statement saying it would ensure Khama was booed if he set foot in South Africa.

Botswana added five members of the EFF to its visa list.

In 2011 Malema, while he was still ANC Youth League leader, said Khama and his Botswana Democratic Party were a "foot stool of imperialism and a security threat to Africa".

Calling for regime change in Botwana, he said the ANCYL would establish a "command team" to unite opposition parties in that country.

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