Former cabinet minister Thapelo Oleopeng stirred controversy this week when he posted on social media that if things were to be done according to him, no current Member of Parliament or Councillor would be voted back in 2024 when the country goes to elections.
Olopeng says the youth especially, must wake up to ensure no MP or councillor who once served should be voted again. In his view, they have already made enough to sustain themselves and therefore should allow others to also eat.
He added that no one who owns a farm or has businesses already, should be voted as councillor or MP because already, they have a source of livelihood. Anyone older than 50 years should also not be voted in 2024, Olopeng suggests – saying at that age, many would have already made life for themselves somehow.
He wants to see new faces, he says, adding that it in this way that employment levels would go high as deserving youths would be able to fill up the 60 vacancies in Parliament and the 1000 at council chambers.
In 2029, he suggests, those who were voted in 2024 should also not return to Parliament or Council. Although he may have said it as just a a thought-provoking joke, he did receive a dose of back slaps from those who felt that he was being silly as he never would have said that during the time he was serving. He however responded and said everybody gets to change the way they view things at some point in their lives.
A number of other people, including another former cabinet minister Sheila Tlou supported his suggestion, although she joked that she would want to be voted President in 2024.