• Masisi says SA has agreed to assist DPP
  • “They have even given us timelines” – Masisi
  • State awaits CoA ruling on Butterfly case


President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s visit to South Africa last week, has revived the Directorate of Public Prosecutions’ (DPP) prospects of success in the court case against suspended spy agent Wilhelmina Maswabi, code-named ‘Butterfly’ in which she is accused of laundering P100 billion, The Botswana Gazette has established.

Masisi and his counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa met last week Friday in Pretoria for the Bi-National Commission (BNC) at which a wide range of issues, affecting the relations of the two countries were discussed. President Masisi confirmed to this publication upon arrival from SA, that one of the issues that were discussed was the Mutual Legal Assistance on a number of cases that have since proven problematic for the DPP in recent years. “This was raised, that we have challenges in getting assistance. It is a legal process; they have a legal system in South Africa and they have processes that are not exactly the same as ours. But they have pledged to smoothen these out. It was agreed in the manner in which these would be deposited.”

President Masisi also revealed that a representative of the DPP elaborated on a list of cases that needed an input from the SA authorities. “They have pledged to cooperate and also committed to follow through on them and we also pledged to make the issue an agenda item in the midterm review to see how far they are. They, themselves have even set deadlines to deliver on their promises and we are very hopeful that they will do it according to the law,” he concluded.”

Meanwhile, sources reveal that SA authorities have pledged to provide the DPP with the relevant legal assistance before the matter returns to the Court of Appeal (CoA). The matter has been postponed for a later date, which remains to be set by the CoA. In August 2021, the High Court dismissed and acquitted Maswabi on all charges presented by the state. Justice Zein Kebonang was also convinced that the evidence provided by the state was fabricated and lacked substance.

On the other end, the state has previously submitted that one of their challenges in providing solid evidence was because the SA government was not keen to provide mutual legal assistance despite numerous requests made through diplomatic channels. The state resorted to engage AfriForum in order to compel the SA government to assist in the matter but the efforts were unsuccessful.

Nonetheless, according to the DPP and lead investigator in the case Jako Hubona, a number of SA banks were used to launder part of the P100 billion. Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe, former president Ian Khama and the former head of the intelligence services Isaac Kgosi have also been implicated in the alleged money laundering scheme.