Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Controversial cell phone tower destroyed - Botswana

Vandalism Controversial cell phone tower destroyed - Botswana

The controversial cell phone tower erected on the royal Phuthadikobo Hill, a few metres away from the royal palace, has been destroyed by the villagers, it was confirmed on Saturday.

Officer Commanding Kgatleng District, senior superintendent Seabe Maboka confirmed on Saturday that the tower is not working after some unknown people vandalised it. He would not immediately say who reported the damage but said reliable sources had informed the police at night that the tower had stopped working.

Maboka said Mascom cellular network, which erected the cell phone tower, told him the damage ran into millions of Pula, but would not specify how it was destroyed.

On Saturday, the Mochudi police sealed off the area around the tower on top of the hill so that no one could interfere with the investigations.

Meantime, efforts to reach Mascom proved futile on Saturday as one of their manager's cell phone kept ringing unanswered.

According to sources at the Mochudi Police Station, the destruction of the cell phone tower was reported in the early hours of Saturday by the cell phone network operators.

The police chief confirmed informing the Bakgatla royals early in the day about the destruction after the incident was reported. Investigations are continuing.

Meanwhile, the Bakgatla Kgosi Kgolo Kgafela II was not immediately available to comment on the latest development. He was said to be out at the cattle post along with his indunas at the time of going to press.

Last week Bakgatla royals called a meeting where the community was briefed on the health hazards posed by the Phuthadikobo museum to their royalty. They were also told that the late Kgosi kgolo Linchwe died from an illness linked to exposure to radiation, microwaves and radio emissions from the tower.

They were also briefed by dikgosi amongst them Kgosi Mmusi, Sekai, Mothibe, Segale, Bakgatle, that the tower should make way for the kgosi kgolo, as it is preventing him from occupying the royal residence.

After the meeting held on October 3, Bakgatla regiments went up the Phuthadikobo hill to inspect the tower so they might know the right tools needed to destroy it.

It was finally destroyed in the early hours of Saturday. However, neither the Bakgatla royal house nor any of the regiments have claimed responsibility.