Botswana‘s president Ian Khama joined his countrymen and women in paying his last respects to one of his predecessors, Sir Ketumile Masire in Gaborone.

People from far and wide are saying their final farewells to the former head of state, Botswana President Ian Khama, among them.

Vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi says Masire who ruled over many years, developed the country.

“We will remember that particularly at the time of your struggles, as we had our own type of struggle that of development, and oppression as perpetrated by the white minority regime, then, we stood firm, principled.”

Masire was also credited with assisting other SADC countries, under repressive rule, bearing similarities to South Africa.

Mokgweetsi Masisi says: “Sir Ketumile Masire was the first president who was at the frontline of the movement and in the establishment of SADC which is the response to the dynamics in Southern Africa at the time.”

Masire is again remembered as a tactical man, often using laughter to defuse tension in any situation.

A memorial service for the late statesman will be held at Botswana’s university stadium.

– By Tsholofelo Mathibedi