Audit Reveals Individuals who benefited From the Petroleum Fund

While Section 6 of the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) Order stipulates that disbursements from the Fund shall be used specifically for the engineering, construction and operation of the strategic storage and distribution facilities for the Government fuel, bank statements have revealed how the fund was used as a loan facility and bankrolled payments for several organisations and individuals.
The accounting minister’s consent was never sought in several instances even as the NPF Order states that the minister has to approve in writing for ‘‘such other sums’’.
According to documents leaked to this publication, payments were made to individuals for acquisition of their land, presumably for fuel storage facilities while in some instances reasons for payment have not been captured. For instance, a certain Ramonametsi Segwati was paid P9 779.94 on 1st June 2016 as compensation for land acquisition at Tshele Hills. Still at Tshele Hills, an individual noted only as Martha G was paid P3 624.39 still as compensation for land while Tsholofelo M got compensated with P1 919.26.
Other individuals such as Mabe P. Buisanyang and Silas S. Ramodimo received payments but reasons for payment have not been captured in the ledger. Buisanyang received P3 430.26 on 24th November 2017 while Ramodimo received P5 716.88 on 27th November 2017.
Other individuals who received funds derived from the NPF with no clear indication or reasons for payment include Philip Shivuri who got P25 125 on 19th June 2017, Bogatsu Pilane who got P3 243.31 and Cecelia Moalafi Selebaleng who got P3 078.86. The following day, 20th June 2017 Tebogo Semaushu received P17 154.75, Phemelo Ntlhe was paid P6 219.26 while another individual only listed as Kgamanyane got P4 724.18. A certain S. Moyo was paid P121 611.64 on 22nd February 2017.Of all the individuals on the list, the most paid was Karabo Baikalafi who received P517 894.56 on 13th July 2016.
BOPEU, throught its commercial arm, Babereki Investment received a loan of P20 million on 19thJanuary 2016. The documents show that on 24th February 2016 Babereki Investment received a further P33 520 000 from the petroleum fund. The Fund Order does not stipulate allocations of loans which are a business liability as opposed to fixed and equity or bond investments.
Speaking in an interview with this publication on Monday, BOPEU Secretary General Topias Marenga said they were not aware that the P53. 5 million they received was being drawn from the National Petroleum Fund as they were at the time dealing with Kgori Capital which had approached them with the mouth-watering offer to lend the union the money.
A letter signed by a certain K.Molosiwa (acting on behalf of Kenneth Kerekang) and addressed to Afena Capital (now Kgori Capital) on 3rd February 2016, reveals the names of officers who were appointed authorized signatories for payments of the National Petroleum Fund. They included Kenneth Kerekang (Director of Energy) Kgomotso Abi (Permanent Secretary), Obolokile Obakeng (Deputy PS), Freddie O. Motlhatlhedi (Deputy Director of Energy) and Kesetsenao Molosiwa (Principal Energy Officer).
Even though former Permanent Secretary Kgomotso Abi recently told the Public Accounts Committee that he was in the dark over some of the transactions from the NPF, documents show a letter that he wrote on 25th  January 2016 appointing Keneneth Kerekang as Authorizing Officer for NPF accounts even though the then Minister of minerals, Onkokame Kitso Mokaila had appointed only Dr Obolokile Obakeng as Authorizing Officer the previous week on 19th January 2016.