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Rapula and Marsland break the silence on CMB

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  • Say they will oppose DPP charges
  • Rapula exonerates Carter from wrong doing
  • Allege political witch hunt
  • Duo believes they will be vindicated

The Directors of Capital Management Botswana (CMB) Rapula Okaile and Timothy Gordon Marsland have said that they intend to defend the civil forfeiture applications alleging offenses of money laundering and obtaining by false pretences laid against them by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), a statement in response to Botswana Gazette questionnaire revealed.

This is two years after the investigations on the company’s financial dealings with the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) were instituted.

According to court documents seen by this publication, the DPP has filed a notice of motion for application of leave to commence criminal proceedings against CMB Directors and their company, represented by John Little who was appointed the provisional liquidator of CMB.

CMB Directors however in their response still maintain their innocence in their handling of the BPOPF funds. Stating that they are looking forward to telling their side of the story before the courts and hope justice will be served.

Rapula and Marsland maintain that the BPOPF funds were channelled towards investments as per their mandate. Court papers show that the investigation found that an en commandite partnership agreement was entered into by CMB and BPOPF on the 3rd November 2014. The two organizations also created the Botswana Opportunity Partnership which was a special purpose vehicle for implementing the en commandite. CMB was the general partner and BPOPF was the limited partner.

The initial Capital commitment for the agreement was 500 million Pula, which was later increased by 380million Pula in November 2016 to make a total of 880 million Pula. The directors say CMB was to be paid 1.5 percent of the committed amount as management fees annually.

In the statement, Rapula and Marsland however contend that behind their arraignment is lies, politics and financial benefits by their detractors. They maintain that there are assets to show as part of the investment they had acquired for BPOPF. The CMB Directors say they invested 150 million Pula on Wildernesss Safaris shares, 150 million Pula on Ka Wena Retail Stores which currently operate in South Africa and Mozambique and were envisaged to spread to Botswana. According to them, a further 50 million Pula was used to buy shares in Cell City while another 50 million Pula was injected into Bona Life insurance company. Another 50 million Pula was injected in Agile Africa.

They say the additional 380 million commitment that was requested from BPOPF was meant to purchase shares in Lobatse Clay Works. When BPOPF defaulted on payments, they contend, CMB sold some of the assets and did not benefit financially.

“The agreement stated that they can be sold at value determined by CMB and even then, BPOPF didn’t call us to raise any complaint about the value we sold the assets for,’’ Rapula stated. He said they only benefited P27 million which was their management fees. He also admits that P20 million was given to Cell City to buy stock and it was a loan even though no agreement was written down. “Cell City acknowledged the loan’’, he revealed.

RAPULA DEFENDS CARTER

In an interview with this publication, Rapula exonerated Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi from any wrong doing.

He explained that it was false that his company had bought Morupisi a Land Cruiser bakkie. ‘‘It’s not even a double cab as previously reported. It’s a single cab’’, he clarified. According to Rapula, his business associates from a South African called Manor Squad in Durban gave him an offer to buy their Land Cruiser but he instead passed on the offer to Morupisi.

He produced a contract between Morupisi and Manor Squad which shows terms of payment plan. He also produced copies of bank transfers that show how Morupisi has been servicing his payment plan with Manor Squad. He said perhaps the confusion came from the fact that he drove the vehicle to Botswana from Durban and on arrival, Morupisi asked him to register the vehicle for him where upon Rapula sent his office assistant to go and register the vehicle.

‘’When he went to register the vehicle, my office assistant used my address, however, the vehicle is not in my names and I did not pay for it. In fact the vehicle is registered in Morupisi’s wife’s company, R7 Investments’’, Rapula explained. Rapula said his business partner, Marsland, is currently living in South Africa but there are times he visits Botswana. Marsland relocated to South Africa when investigations into CMB and BPOPF financial dealings intensified. He holds dual citizenship of South Africa and the United Kingdom.

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