The letters being exchanged contain extraordinary twists and hair-raising turns that ordinarily make the stuff of fiction and are thus hard to imagine as reflecting the reality of present-day Botswana. Staff Writer TEFO PHEAGE has been tailing the secret agents.
The head of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS), Peter Magosi, has finally responded to a controversial letter in which his erstwhile spies are demanding P15 million for what they claim was an elections job done.
However, the recipients of a letter from Magosi about the matter have told Botswana’s top spy that they are not the right people for the correspondence because they no longer act for his former comrades-in-arms. In the misdirected letter, Magosi broaches hair-raising twists and extraordinary turns that ordinarily make the stuff of fiction and are thus hard to imagine as reflecting the reality of present-day Botswana.
After avoiding the issue since it broke into the open about a month ago, Botswana’s top spy this week wrote to former lawyers of the two men behind the letter, Temo Tau and William Mabengano, expressing concern that Mabengano has been frequenting DISS offices about the payment that they claim is due to them. Magosi considers it impudent of Mabengano to be doing this when lawyers engaged by the two men are the ones who should be pursuing the matter for them.
“We wish to bring it to your attention that a certain gentleman by the names William Mabengano has on the 6th and 8th of July 2020 respectively visited our offices and requested to meet with the Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS),” Magosi wrote in the confidential letter that has been leaked to The Botswana Gazette. “It is public knowledge that Mr Mabengano is the gentleman at the forefront of the allegations that a certain company, World of Oath (PTY) Ltd, is owed PI5 million arising from certain dealings with the DIS, and that since making a demand for payment from the DIS, he has received threats on his life from the Director General Brigadier (rtd.) Peter F. Magosi.”
The letter is dated 14 July 2020 and is addressed to Lerumo Mogobe Attorneys.
According to it, the hair-raising claim and allegations have received widespread publication in various newspapers over the last couple of weeks, the most recent being an audio recording purporting to be of a conversation between Magosi and Mabengano that has been circulating on social media since Friday 13 July 2020.
The audio recording in question is an acrimonious exchange between Magosi and Mabengano over a clandestine operation that went awry and ended in Mabengano being arrested in Tlokweng. In the recording, Magosi can be heard warning Mabengano to never call him again.
In a further reading of the letter, Magosi advises his former comrades-in-arms spies that the matter is now with lawyers and that they should therefore desist from pursuing it. “Be advised that on the occasions that Mr Mabengano has been to the offices of the DIS, he has been advised that it would not be prudent for him to meet the Director General or any officer of the Directorate without his attorney of record present, particularly as this matter is already handled by attorneys,” the letter reads. “We are of the belief that any discussion with Mr Mabengano would be related to the claim against the DIS and should therefore be through his attorney of record. In that respect, we would request that all communication by your client be through your office to us, or to our attorneys being the Attorney Generals Chambers.”
However, it turns out that the letter was misdirected because by return mail dated 16 July 2020, Lerumo Mogobe Attorneys told Magosi that he should now deal directly with his erstwhile spies because the firm no longer acts for them. “Please take notice that the firm Lerumo Mogobe Legal Practitioners, has, as on 30th June 2020 terminated its mandate to represent the company, World Oath and it business partners, directors or shareholders, Temo Tau and William Mabengano,” the replying letter reads. A letter of termination of the relationship is enclosed.
Meanwhile, Temo and Mabengano are still insisting on being paid by DISS for an elections job done and have escalated the matter to the Office of the President. However, Magosi’s erstwhile agents have down scaled the amount almost by half and now want to be paid P9 million instead of the P15 million that they initially demanded.