- Ngakaagae argues state has no criminal case against Bakang
- State says P80m is proceeds of crime
- Judgement reserved for 28 April
The P80 million civil forfeiture case between the state and businessman Bakang Seretse will finally end on 28 April after the Court of Appeal (CoA) yesterday deferred ruling on the matter to that date following submissions of both parties.
The state is appealing Justice Dr Godfrey Radijeng’s 12 August 2021 judgement in which he ruled in favour of asset manager Seretse. The state, through the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), roped in Busang Manewe for the appeal.
Making his submission, Seretse’s lawyer Kgosi Ngakaagae argued that the state had failed to bring forward any criminal case against his client or any of his co-accused. In fact, Ngakaagae said the second accused, Kenneth Kerekang, who was Director at the Department of Energy, acted on instructions from his superiors when he transferred the P230 million into Khulaco (Pty) Ltd, the asset management company owned by Seretse.
The court also learned that $11.2 million (approximately P112 million) was paid to Israeli firm Dignia for the supply of military equipment and surveillance. It was also explained that Khulaco was paid a 20 percent commission upfront. The total commission amounted to around P40 million. Only close P80 million remains from the initial P230 million.
On the other hand, Manewe pointed that the funds being contested were proceeds of crime and should not be handed back to Seretse or his company as per the PICA Act. He stated the High Court had erred in fact and in law by holding that Seretse did not have a role to play in the decision-making of the disbursement of the initial amount of P230 million from NPF.
Manewe also holds that the judge erred by holding that there was no proof that the further distribution of the P230 million amounted to serious crimes.
The case will be decided by a panel of Court of Appeal judges Fritz Brand (SA), Stephen Gaongalelwe and Abednico Tafa.