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DPP blunder in the Kebonang brothers’ appeal

OFF THE HOOK: Sadique Kebonang

The appeal stands to be struck out with costs- Mack

After the high court dismissed the Kebonang twin brothers’ charges of money laundering in the NPF case last October, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has appealed the verdict.

High court Judge Zein Kebonang was facing two counts of money laundering while his twin brother, Sadique was charged with five counts of money laundering.

In October last year, Judge Phuthego ruled that prosecution had failed to submit enough evidence to convince the court that the charges levelled against the two had substance.

The judge further noted that the Director of Prosecutions and the Attorney General through their attorney, Mpho Letswalo had struggled to direct and convince the court on how the applicants were charged. Judge Phuthego said without evidence, the alleged criminal acts against the Kebonang brothers would be treated as mere hearsay by the court.

“Zein was alleged to have been involved in the opening of bank accounts that were used to transact the alleged funds. There is no evidence to support that the applicant knew or had reasonable grounds to suspect that the alleged money was from proceeds of a criminal act. Sadique had indicated through their attorney Mack, that the property in his possession, suspected to have been acquired from proceeds of an alleged crime was actually acquired as payment for debt from one Bakang Seretse of Basis Points,” reads the ruling.

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OFF THE HOOK: Zein Kebonang

Zein had applied for leave of absence from duty after he was chargeed. Recently, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) voted to allow Justice Kebonang to return to work.

Meanwhile the DPP has questioned why Judge Kebonang was allowed back at work while their appeal was pending before court.

Some of the DPP grounds of appeal are that the judges Tafa, Gabanagae and Phuthego applied the wrong standard in deciding whether the DPP has sufficient grounds to charge the Kebonang brothers.

The DPP has also argued that the judges erred in holding that there is need to disclose the predicate offence when drafting a charge of money laundering.

In his response filed on the 15th of January, the duo’s attorney, Unoda Mack has indicated that the DPP has made a mistake to launch this appeal without leave to appeal obtained from the high court as required by the section 12(1) of the Court of Appeal Act.

Mack said the appeal therefore stands to be dismissed or struck out with costs.

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