Khama fights for financial accounts seized by DISS

  • Writes a demand to High Court
  • Accountant was raided during Kgosi investigations

Gazette Reporters

Confidential documents containing possibly incriminating information on private companies owned by former president Ian Khama have been seized by the Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), and it could just be a matter of time before he faces the law enforcement agencies wrath personally, this publication has established.

Out of anger and frustration, Khama who was addressing a political gathering at his home village in Serowe, revealed that DISS seized documents belonging to him, when conducting a raid at the office of his accountant, John Barry Little, of Corporate Services Pty Ltd.

He said the documents belong to him and not his accountant. Khama revealed that he has written a letter to the High Court demanding that his documents seized at his accountant’s office by the DISS be returned to him, since the search warrant then held by the DISS was for his accountant and not him. Brigadier Peter Magosi and his agents conducted a raid at the Corporate Services (Pty) Ltd a company under the ownership and stewardship of John Barry Little, Khama’s personal accountant. DISS conducted its first search at Khama’s accountant in December last year. Further the intelligence agency conducted another raid a fortnight ago, where heaps of files and documents were seized.

It emerged at the Serowe political gathering, convened by Khama, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and Samson Moyo Guma that some files seized belonged to Khama. The trio, who called a gathering at Serowe, was throwing jabs at Masisi, in a campaign to lure Serowe dwellers to vote Venson-Moitoi for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Presidency against President Masisi. They are the brains behind an infant anti-Masisi BDP faction styled New Jerusalem.

Corporate Services (Pty) Ltd is a private company that does book-keeping, accounting and tax advisory services for its clients, like former president Khama. The raid at Corporate Services, a company owned by Khama’s accountant, comes at a time when the DISS, Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) are targeting individuals and companies which may be involved in tax avoidance, and economic crimes. Under President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s leadership, law enforcement agencies have been busy, guided by Masisi’s quest to uproot corruption and economic crime as well as non-compliance to tax laws which deny the country millions of Pula in taxes.

Former Spy Chief Isaac Kgosi, was the first to be pounced by he law enforcement agencies and is still under intelligence surveillance. Kgosi and Khama have been known for a long time to have been close friends. There are suspicions that the the two’s personal and business interests inseparably convene and that they share the same accountant who also appears as a nominee director for the former President in other companies.

The trail of evidence also highlights Kgosi’s stronghold on the Serowe North Development Trust (SNDT), Khama’s brainchild, and their financial interests in Linyanti Investment, a company linked to the largest eco-tourism outfit in Botswana by value, Wilderness Safaris which appear to be directly and indirectly connected Khama and his family. His nephew Marcus Khama Ter Haar is a board member.

Khama has held interests in companies such as Phuti ya Bangwato (commercial farming), Trust Holdings (real estate), Murton Proprietary Limited (retail trade), Montrose Proprietary Limited (investments), Chadibe Springs, Kenmoir Proprietary Limited, Baobab Safaris, Linyanti Concessions Ltd and Seba Safaris which is another investment company with interests in Wilderness Safaris Ltd. Book-keeping, accounting, auditing and tax advisory services of these companies belonging to Khama was done by Barry Little at Corporate Services Pty Ltd. Such information is contained in some of the documents seized by Magosi and his team.

Through his 5 percent stake in Baobab Safaris and Seba Safaris, companies which he co-owns with famous wildlife filmmaker Dereck Joubert, Khama’s stake extends into Wilderness Safaris. Joubert is a big critic of Masisi and government’s position on the hunting ban debacle. Kgosi has previously admitted to owning a stake in Okavango Wilderness Safaris (subsidiary of Wilderness Safaris Limited) through Safari Adventure Ltd. Safari Adventure is a subsidiary of Sediba Properties a company which he holds a 58 percent share, that he co owned with former Debswana Managing Director (MD) Blackie Marole.

Parks Tafa of Collins Newman (Khama’s lawyers) was the Chairman of Wilderness Safaris, seemed to have had business interests in CNC Management alongside John Barry Little (Khama’s accountant) and former High Court Judge Justice David John Newman.

Judge Newman presided over the case in which John Kalafatis was assassinated by government agents whom Khama later issued a presidential pardon and reinstated to work.

Khama appears as a shareholder and director alongside his sister Jacqueline Khama in Montrose Ltd and also a director in Chadibe Springs a company he inherited from Lady Ruth Khama.

In his previous response to the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) investigations Kgosi admitted that funds used to be transferred between the DISS and Serowe North Development Trust for covert operations and purchasing aircrafts.

As far as business interests go, Kgosi explained to DCEC that his business accountant is John Barry Little, one of CNC Management Ltd directors who also appear in former President Khama’s current and former personal companies acting as a nominee or an accountant.