As the general public is awash with countless speculations as to the reason why the Kalafatis family is suffering their continuing ordeal, the family’s lawyer, Dick Bayford yesterday morning revealed on radio that the family is being systematically hunted down by state security because of an alleged controversial sex tape that the state security believe came into the late John Kalafatis possession.
The alleged video, according to Bayford, supposedly shows visuals stored on a laptop of a prominent state official in comprising sexual acts. The state security, so it is alleged, believes that the laptop containing the sexually explicit material was stolen by the late John Kalafatis in 2009.
John was murdered by the Botswana Defence Force Military Intelligence in 2009 for undisclosed reasons. After public outcry and pressure from the family lawyers, the state prosecuted his killers who were convicted by the High Court. They had barely served their 11-year prison sentences when President Khama pardoned them. Reasons for granting the convicts a rare presidential pardon has not been explained to the public.
In 2012, John’s father was assaulted by unknown assailants and subsequently passed away from injuries sustained by the assault. He had been left severely beaten and left for dead behind Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Mogoditshane.
On December 18, 2013, near a residential location commonly referred to as Partial, John’s younger brother, Costa, was according to the Kalafatis family lawyer Dick Bayford, unlawfully and wrongly shot by certain members of the Botswana Police Service or members of a kindred Botswana security agency. He sustained serious injuries and was hospitalised at Princess Marina Hospital for a period of five days. The Police have so far prevaricated, much as they did in his brother’s murder, in charging anyone with the shooting.
The chain of events are allegedly inter-connected. According to the lawyer, the events were triggered when it was suspected that the late John Kalafatis stole a laptop from one Allen West’s residence in Phakalane. The said laptop is said to have contained sexually explicit visuals involving multiple male characters performing sexual acts on and with each other. One of the performers is said to be a prominent state personality. This information, according to Bayford was revealed to him by a source who works as a state security agent. “Based on the source of my information which I believe is credible, I believe the laptop exists or has existed before,” Bayford told The Gazette.
He further added, “ “No cogent information is being proffered by the state therefore, whatever information that we receive that provides a possible reason for the continued targeting of the family has to be put across. It is up to the state to confirm or refute such information as it has all the means to do so,” added Bayford.
Bayford revealed that, “at the time when attorney Duma Boko and I were pursuing John’s case, Boko’s house was broken into and a laptop stolen and my vehicle was broken into as I was leaving my office and a laptop similarly stolen.” He added that he does not know “whether that was a sheer coincidence or whether these were acts carried out in pursuit of the laptop containing obscene images.”
The attorney went on to state that rumour has it that the recent shooting of Costa was perpetuated by the belief that his late brother had left the laptop in his care, since it has in fact never been located.
The Kalafatis family, particularly Costa, has declined to field questions from this newspaper preferring to speak through their attorney, Bayford. When asked whether Costa has the laptop, Bayford said that, “because of the speculation that the Kalafatis family is being systematically purged on account of this laptop and its contents, I sought clarification from Costa and the rest of the family as to whether the laptop was or had been in their possession. They have made it categorically clear that they do not have the laptop in their possession, nor have they had it in their possession.” Bayford added further that he, as the family lawyer, does not have the laptop in his possession.
“If the version of the laptop is true, I assure the prominent personality who it is alleged features prominently in the sexual orgy captured in the video and those affected, that if I lay my hands on the laptop, I will definitely surrender it to the police, so that these senseless killings and shootings may stop,” he said.
When asked if he did not fear for his life after making the shocking allegations, he responded that, “we all live once, and in the pursuit of that which is righteous, we should not have any impedition.”
According to Court transcripts and recorded police statements, a warrant of arrest was issued against John by the Broadhurst Magistrates’ Court for allegedly breaking in to Allen West’s house at Phakalane. The Warrant granted authority to the Botswana Police Service to effect his arrest. The warrant was however never effected, instead members of a special organ of the Botswana Defence Force shot and killed the Late John Kalafatis. The soldiers, who were in plain clothes, enlisted the assistance of police officers from Broadhurst Police Station to track John. They went around the various places known to have been socially frequented by the late John under the pretext that they were conducting surveillance. At one such venue, Costa arrived, probably on his way to meet his brother. The soldiers detained Costa, but the police were opposed to Costa being detained or arrested as he had not committed any offence. A compromise was later reached between the soldiers and police that Costa would park his vehicle inside the police mess and drive together with the soldiers.
On the way, the heavily armed soldiers told Costa that, “today we are going to kill your brother.” They later instructed Costa to alight from their vehicle. As he walked to his house he met with John who was in the company of two companions. Costa tried to warn his brother, in vain, of what the soldiers had said, but he was very dismissive. Surprisingly, after the soldiers had located John at a shopping complex at Extension 12, a Gaborone suburb, they dismissed the police officer who had been driving with them under the pretext that they did not require police assistance anymore. Barely 30 minutes later, Costa heard gun shots: his brother had met his death at the hands of the said soldiers as they had threatened.
John’s killers were never interdicted from duty and were never arrested or put in custody. Although a warrant of arrest had been issued against John for burglary, he never had an opportunity of having his day in court on the said criminal charge.