Uyapo Ndadi wrote on his Facebook page that “the strategy by Bakang Seretse is difficult to follow, not sure if he is saying I’m guilty but I am not alone, which surely is not a defence to the charge/s. Or he is saying I am innocent and so are they! But when someone is innocent they don’t show who else is innocent! Naturally if a person is innocent he proves his innocence and can still report those who he thinks committed offences. Has he reported?”
Though these particular words by Uyapo Ndadi have had me thinking and inspired me to pen this, my thinking of the matter also went and goes beyond this legal approach thinking. My contention is rather what appears, from where I am standing, a serious story of deception emerging. And perusing the media publications from the day this story was broken, the narrative has been this; Bakang Seretse is being made a scapegoat.
One particular story in the Mmegi Monitor can be remembered, where Bakang came out of a prison cell and initiated claims that he is being scapegoated. He narrated that when he was in prison, a certain DCEC investigator had tried to corner him into confessing that the NPF funds given to the DISS had in fact gone into the pockets of President Ian Khama and DISS Director General, Isaac Kgosi. In that exclusive, the message being driven home was that the likes of Bakang Seretse, Botho Leburu, Kgori Capital, and Kenneth Kerekang were just collateral.
The narration then took a twist somewhere along the way and a new narration emerged by Bakang that there was an assassination plot against him and his partners. The narration has developed another view angle being that Bakang did not benefit from the money but rather that some ministers, the ruling party, Director of the DISS and the vice president of Botswana are the actual beneficiaries. The question that remains unanswered in my view following the unfolding story is not knowing if some of the local newspaper owners, or editors, or reporters have deliberately become part of the deception I have observed. Or it is only that they just happen to have been caught in the cross fire.
This was not the only deception I saw playing out. Here was Bakang Seretse, calling himself a patriot, who sacrificed a lot for the security of Botswana. It was only later in court that the picture became clear, that the matter is not about the purchasing of DISS equipment but of filthily dipping his hands into the NPF and in the process extracting close to 50 million Pula, without anyone’s authority. We would later learn in court papers that Bakang’s claim that he had entered into a 20 percent agreement with DISS was not a fact. No proof of that agreement with DISS could be furnished to the courts, except an agreement for the same signed by his co accused, Kerekang who had no authority to do so. These are some of the facts that some of the local newspapers have conveniently not reported on.
My head is now spinning in confusion. What is the accused up to? First, he says he is caught up in the DCEC, FIA, DPP, Khama & Isaac Kgosi war. Now he says Khama and Kgosi want to kill him. Which one should I believe!? But then all along, way from the legal tussle, public narration, spearheaded by the media, tells a different story.
It is clear here that an allegation implicating Bakang not only in fraudulent dealings with his business partner, but an allegation linking Bakang to the death of Mhlanzi is made in the Mail & Guardian report. However, what follows from this expose and allegations against Bakang is a Public relations rhetoric spun in the form of news, a PR rhetoric deliberately aimed at diluting, and banishing those Mail & Guardian scandalous allegations against Bakang. It becomes difficult to now balance the local media reporting on the Bakang case and the actual events unfolding in the courts.
And just for the record, we must in this background keep it in mind that Kgori Capital was recently found by High Court in Lobatse to have been involved in “multiple serious criminal related activities which includes but are not limited to cheating the public revenue, abuse of public office, obtaining by false pretences and money laundering”. As a result of these criminal activities P15 million has been withheld in the Kgori Capital and the DCEC investigators told court that the amount could rise.
Though I have followed this story from day one, and continue to do so, it was only after reading Uyapo Ndadi’s words, that I became convinced that since the whole story began, we have been brainwashed into believing that Bakang and his accused has no case to answer in court. In fact the local media stories further mention that the court case is more about individual ‘ego’s than Bakang and Kgori. Not only that the story goes further to state that the P15 million that Kgori was lately ordered to hold by court is part of settlement of the missing NPF, and that soon the case will be over. It is a very intriguing cloak and dagger game that I would not wish to miss its unfolding, but so far it is clear the local media is captured by one party, either blindfold or consciously.