Botswana revokes visa-free entry for Bridgette Radebe

24 April 2019 - 06:57 By AFP
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe with his wife Bridgette Radebe. File Photo
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe with his wife Bridgette Radebe. File Photo
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

Botswana has banned Bridgette Radebe from entering the country visa-free, according to documents seen by AFP on Tuesday.

A document issued by Botswana's Immigration Minister Magang Ngaka Ngaka on April 17 2019, said energy minister Jeff Radebe's wife must "obtain a visa to enter Botswana".

The official reason for the move is not given, but local media have accused her of meddling in Botswana's politics.

The 59-year-old is president of the South African Mining Development Association. She is also the older sister of billionaire Patrice Motsepe, and of SA's first lady, Tshepo Motsepe.

Forbes says Patrice Motsepe in 2008 became the first black African on its rich list. It estimates his wealth at $2.5 billion.

South Africans normally do not require an advance visa to travel to their land-locked, diamond-rich neighbour, although several prominent figures have been blocked from entering the country without first applying for permission.

The document did not state a reason for the visa requirement, although Bridgette Radebe has faced allegations she interfered in the recent leadership election of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party in a bid to remove President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Local media reports alleged she and her mining mogul brother had funded the campaign of President Masisi's rival for the party top job, former foreign affairs minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

President Cyril Ramaphosa sent foreign minister Lindiwe Sisulu to Gaborone last week after the accusations surfaced in the media that his sister-in-law had meddled politically.


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