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Phandu Tombola Chaka Skelemani (born 5 January 1945[1]) is a Botswana who served in the government of Botswana as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2008 to 2014. A member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Skelemani is a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Botswana and a member of the Pan-African Parliament from Botswana; previously, he was Attorney-General of Botswana from 1992 to 2003.

Phandu Skelemani
Phandu Skelemani 2014.png
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
1 April 2008 – 31 October 2014
Preceded byMompati Merafhe
Succeeded byPelonomi Venson-Moitoi
Personal details
Born (1945-01-05) 5 January 1945 (age 74)
Mapoka Village, North East District, Bechuanaland
Political partyBotswana Democratic Party


Skelemani was born in Mapoka Village.[1] He earned a degree in law from the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland[1][2] and worked in the civil service for 30 years,[3] beginning when he became a state counsel in 1973.[1][4] Subsequently he became Senior State Counsel in 1975, Principal State Counsel in 1978, and Deputy Attorney-General in 1980.[1] He was appointed as Attorney-General in 1992;[1][4] in that capacity, he advised the Cabinet and attended Cabinet meetings.[1]

When Joy Phumaphi resigned from Parliament in August 2003 to become Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, Skelemani in turn resigned from his post as Attorney-General[5] and stood as the BDP candidate in the by-election held in Phumaphi's former constituency, Francistown East.[6] In campaigning for the seat, Skelemani pointed to his background in the area, saying that this would enable him to represent it well in Parliament.[3] Skelemani won the by-election and took his parliamentary seat in November 2003.[7] A year later, on November 9, 2004, he was appointed to the Cabinet as Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration.[2]

Skelemani was moved to the position of Minister for the Administration of Justice, Attorney General's Chambers, Botswana Defence Force, Police, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, and Security in January 2007.[8] When Ian Khama took office as President on 1 April 2008, he appointed Skelemani as Minister of Foreign Affairs instead.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g CV at Ministry of Foreign Affairs website Archived 2011-07-06 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ a b "Mogae appoints cabinet -Ten new faces - Five women" Archived 2005-02-10 at the Wayback Machine, BOPA, November 10, 2004.
  3. ^ a b "Campaign for F/town East hots up", BOPA, September 11, 2003.
  4. ^ a b "Skelemani says people deserve to know", BOPA, 23 October 2003.
  5. ^ Richard P. Werbner, Reasonable Radicals and Citizenship in Botswana (2004), Indiana University Press, page 25.
  6. ^ "Mels' candidate fails to submit nomination", BOPA, 7 October 2003.
  7. ^ "Skelemani calls for empowerment of DCs, dikgosi, labour officers", BOPA, 19 November 2003.
  8. ^ "Mogae expands cabinet", BOPA, 22 January 2007.
  9. ^ "Khama fires five ministers", Mmegi Online, 2 April 2008.