- Says he resolutely protected her nevertheless
- But “Butterfly” says Magosi wanted her to lie in exchange for protection
The head of Botswana’s secret service, Brigadier Peter Magosi, has come out to deny that he has any personal vendetta against suspended agent of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Wilheminah Maswabi, but is on a determined mission to bring people who have looted public funds to the book.
In a recent interview, Magosi told The Botswana Gazette that upon his appointment as Director General of DISS, he was “very much aware” that “Butterfly” was an unwanted person among most, if not all, her colleagues.“In my first address as DG, I made her stand up in front of all the officers,” he recalled. “I made it clear to them that ‘I know you hate her but no one will dare touch her.’ To be honest, she was the most hated DISS agent.”
For that reason, protecting Maswabi immediately became one of Magosi’s top priorities, he said. “I spent a year-and-a-half with her, and in that time I had to protect her and made sure that no one harassed her.”
According to sources close to DISS, Maswabi was mainly hated for having been the ‘darling’ of former spy chief Issac Kgosi. Reports suggest that the two were so close that one DISS aircraft was named after her initials, WM 1 for Wilheminah Maswabi 1. She and Kgosi were often fellow travellers on Kgosi’s international trips. Magosi has since had the PC 24 aircraft re-registered as DS 1.
But in this running intrigue involving the secret service, an affidavit submitted by “Butterfly” in her bail application to the Gaborone High Court in November last year, “Butterfly” deposed that Magosi had wanted her to lie about Kgosi in exchange for her freedom.
“On the day I was arraigned, 18 October 2019, and on several occasions before Peter Magosi who is the DG of the DIS repeatedly asked me questions about Mr Kgosi’s previous dealings at the DIS and said if I told him the truth and assist in discovering Mr Kgosi’s criminal wrongdoing he will protect me,” read her affidavit in part.
“I have consistently told Mr Magosi that I am not aware of any of Mr Kgosi’s criminal activities or wrong doings. He went on to say that if I told him the truth regarding Mr Kgosi’s criminal activities he will be able to save me within 14 days, if I don’t he won’t be able to and I will languish in jail. I therefore regard my remand as an attempt to break me in order to provide damning evidence against Mr Kgosi, which evidence I do not have. I am not about to start lying as requested by Mr Magosi.”
Failure by Magosi to ‘persuade’ her to incriminate Kgosi subsequently led to Kgosi and detective Jako Hubona of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) fabricating false evidence against her, she wrote in her affidavit. “I was denied bail on the basis of evidence presented by the state, which has since turned out to be false and fabricated,” she asserted. “The companies in South Africa that I am alleged to be involved with do not exist.”
As the case continues, “Butterfly” appeared in court on Friday last week but the matter was postponed to August 17, 2020 since the investigations are still ongoing. Both the DPP and “Butterfly’s” attorney Uyapo Ndadi agreed with the postponement.
She is facing charges of financing terrorism, possession of unexplained property and false declaration of passports.