Botswana’s former president Masire passes on

Botswana’s former President Sir Ketumile Quett Joni Masire has passed on, following his admission at the intensive care unit (ICU) in a private hospital.

Fraser Tlhoiwe, Senior Private Secretary to the former president made the official announcement following Masire’s death on Thursday (22 June 2017) evening.

“He died peacefully at Bokamoso private hospital surrounded by his family at 2210hrs on 22 June 2017,” said Tlhoiwe. He was 91.

In his honour, the Presidency declared a three-day mourning period in remembrance.

“In this time of reflection, members of the public may continue to engage in public and private activities, but in so doing are reminded to be mindful of the need to display behaviour that shows appropriate respect for the occasion,” said a statement issued by President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

“May His Soul Rest in Peace and his family along with the rest of the nation be comforted in this time of sadness.”

The statement said a condolence book will be opened at parliament for members of the public to pay their respects.

Sir Ketumile was born in 1925 and became Botswana’s President between 1980 and 1998.

Since his retirement he has been involved in numerous diplomatic initiatives in a number of African countries, including Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Ghana and Swaziland.