- DCEC and DISS in dispute over case withdrawal
- Aim of high profile report is to quash P100bn case
- But observers say the report could offend against subjudice
TEFO PHEAGE & LETLHOGILE MPUANG
An independent forensic investigation by Cherie Blair and Professor Thuli Madonsela may pour scorn on allegations of money laundering against former president Ian Khama and South Africa businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe, the report will be released today (Wednesday).
Cherie is the wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair and Chairperson of international law firm Omnia Strategy while Madonsela is South Africa’s former Public Protector and is now Chairperson of Social Justice at the University of Stellenbosch. Khama and Motsepe, who have both denied any connection to P100 billion that allegedly went missing from the Bank of Botswana, have mounted a powerful campaign against the Botswana Government in an effort to clear their names and shame the state. The serious allegations, which also purportedly involve espionage and financing of political unrest in Botswana, are contained in an affidavit submitted by Jako Hubona of the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crimes.
But observers say the report may not amount to much because it a classic case of “suspects investigating themselves” and could lead to contempt of court if Blair and Madonsela lived in Botswana because the matter is still before the courts.
Insiders say that Blair and Madonsela ‘s report may trash the state’s case and absolves their clients Khama and Motsepe, and by extension former head of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) Isaac Kgosi and DISS agent Wilheminah Maswabi, who is codenamed “Butterfly.”
Omnia Strategy LLP and leading business intelligence and investigations firm Alaco Ltd have come to conclusions after examining the allegations in detail.
However, while the report may prove handy to “Butterfly’s” case, legal minds say it could amount to little in that it is a classic case of “suspects investigating themselves” to gainsay a competent court. Some even see potential for a strong case of contempt of court being made against Blair and Madonsela if they were domiciled in Botswana because the matter is still before court.
It is understood that the move by Khama and Motsepe is aimed at clearing their names before they are even charged. Only last week, the state informed the court that it would amend the charge sheet in order to introduce some names in November. This was after Maswabi’s lawyer, Uyapo Ndadi queried why Maswabi was the only one charged when there were other people who should be charged.
Meanwhile, the DCEC is said to have grown tired of the case which it considers a stillborn and informed its partners, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and DISS of this position at a meeting on Friday last week. DISS spokesman Edward Robert and DCEC director, Joseph Mathambo confirmed that the “Butterfly” case meeting indeed took place but would not elaborate except to say they are making good progress in the matter.
Information reaching The Botswana Gazette is that DCEC wants the matter withdrawn while its partners, especially DISS, are insisting on finishing what they started. DCEC believes it was a grave mistake to go to court before gathering enough evidence and that a rebound counter-suit from the accused could prove unbearable for the state.