Despite heavy court charges, the State is yet to gather enough evidence to declare the former agent of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Wilheminah Maswabi, code-named Butterfly, a terrorist alongside her alleged accomplices in financing terrorism and report her to the United Nations as per the protocol.
- Such a declaration is a requirement under international law
- The matter is still under investigation
- Charges played a serious role in the country’s grey listing by EU
The State is yet to gather enough evidence to declare agent of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Wilheminah Maswabi, code-named Butterfly, a terrorist alongside her alleged accomplices in financing terrorism.
“Butterfly” currently faces charges of financing terrorism and money laundering. As things stand, the state is yet to discuss the matter with the United Nations (UN) or any other international body responsible for dealing with issues of terrorism. The Botswana Gazette understands that this is because the matter still remains under investigation between DISS, DCEC, Botswana Police Service and the newly established Counter Terrorism Analysis and Fusion Agency.
“The matter is before the courts and we have been open that we are still investigating,” said Modiri Keoagile, the Director at the Counter Terrorism Analysis and Fusion Agency.
He added that the investigations were complex as they involve making requests for mutual legal assistance to other countries in Africa and beyond.
Former president Ian Khama, former spy chief Issac Kgosi and South African businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe have been implicated in her alleged crimes and are suing the State in what they call false allegations.
The Gazette understands that the National Counter Terrorism Committee, which is chaired by the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, is also awaiting feedback and instructions from the investigating bodies before it can advise the Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, on the matter.
According to the Counter Terrorism Act, the Minister in the Presidency is responsible for declaring any person or entity a terrorist following the advice of the Terrorism Committee. The PSP was unavailable for comment yesterday afternoon (Tuesday).
The UN Security Council Resolution 1373 requires member states like Botswana powers to declare any persons or entities suspected of terrorism activity as terrorists.
Meanwhile, the “Butterfly” case is said to have exposed the weakness of Botswana’s systems and measures for dealing with money laundering and terrorism financing. This is believed to have played a serious role in the country’s grey listing by the European Union earlier this year.
As a member of the UN, Botswana is required to report or register suspicious terrorism activities immediately.
According to sources close to these developments, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) also recently recommended several new guidelines that Botswana must adopt in order to better deal with such matters.