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Ngakaagae demands DIS, Abi in the dock

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A defense lawyer in the famous National Petroleum Fund (NPF) corruption trial, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae this week demanded to cross examine state witnesses among them former Permanent Secretary Kgomotso Abi and officers of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS).

Ngakaagae was responding to a civil application brought by the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for forfeiture of assets of interested parties in the NPF matter in relation to a contract between DIS, Ministry of Energy, and Basis Points – a company in which Bakang Seretse is a director. Approximately P60 million was paid to Basis Points, which contract and payment the DPP says were fraudulent.

However, Ngakaagae accused the DPP of trying to intimidate the court by bringing a voluminous file of affidavits posited by Abi and his officials at the Ministry of Energy, as well as DIS officers.

He appealed to Justice Omphemetse Motumise not to rely on the affidavits for his ruling saying that there is need for cross -examination of the witnesses.

“There is a dispute of facts here, there is a stalemate, and the best solution is for the witnesses to come to the dock, to be cross examined to defend their affidavits. Another option is for the court to dismiss this matter since the applicant has failed to prove that the respondents have committed any crime as prescribed by the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act to warrant forfeiture of assets,” he said.

Ngakaagae raised suspicion that the government officers were in deep trouble hence the DPP was trying to cover up their inefficiencies with regard to the contract in dispute.

He said that PICA states that forfeiture can only be executed when it has been proven that a person has committed Money Laundering, Corruption, Cheating Public Revenue, or serious crimes related activities to acquire assets under scrutiny. None of the above have been proven against any of the respondents, he stated.

He emphasized that the burden lies with the DPP to prove that the assets were proceeds of a crime and not for the Respondents to prove their innocence.

Earlier on, the DPP’s Ernest Mosate said the parties in the NPF criminal matter fraudulently entered into a contract with DIS and Ministry of Energy for consultancy services and procurement of oil stock for Botswana Oil Company.

He said that the P60 million was used to purchase property and luxury vehicles some of which were registered under relatives and friends of the interested parties.

According to information exchanged in court, Basis Points had a contract with the ministry, but between March and August 2016 it entered into a new contract with DIS for consultancy services and procurement of oil stock.

There were meetings held and correspondence exchanged between the three parties authorizing the transactions that led to the disbursement of the P60 million in dispute.

However, in their affidavits, the DIS and ministry officials have disowned the correspondence and the signatures therein, as well as the DIS letterhead, whilst minutes of the said meetings bear nobody’s signature.

Ngakaagae dug his heels in saying this gesture is the main reason why the witnesses should be called for oral testimony and be subjected to cross-examination.

He stated that the DPP should not try to blame third parties for government’s failure to comply with its’ processes and systems.

Unoda Mack represents two Respondents, among them a Mercedes Benz B291 BEX that was purchased by one Janet Mooketsi at the tune of P650, 000 with the assistance of Sadique Kebonang.

He wondered whether the DPP implied that the vehicle was implicated in some criminal activities since they have failed to prove that Mooketsi acquired the money through unscrupulous means prescribed in the PICA.

The matter was postponed to November when Mack would wrap up his arguments and DPP replying.

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BDP quash UDC election petitions

•UDC’s petitions do not incriminate our candidates- BDP

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Botswana Democratic Party has moved swiftly to counter a petition lodged by the Umbrella for Democratic Change before the courts seeking nullification of election results in some of the constituencies that were won by the ruling party.

The Voice is in possession of the notices to oppose by the BDP and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) lawyers. The BDP has made known their intentions to have the UDC petitions quashed through points of law.

The BDP, through court papers served to the UDC this Wednesday, point out to certain irregularities and failure on the part of the UDC to meeting certain requirements to constitute a petition according to the Electoral Act.

In the court papers the BDP say that it is common knowledge that the UDC want the High Court to declare the constituencies void on the basis of corrupt practices, commission of illegal practices by the BDP, DISS and connivances of certain officers employed by the IEC.

“The petitions do not disclose facts necessary to enable the High Court to make a decision under Section (105) 1 of the Electoral Act. Without these material facts the High Court cannot void the election. The remedy is therefore not available to the petitioners,” read the court papers.

The BDP through their lawyers further state that the petitioners attribute the commission of the corrupt illegal practices to certain officers from the BDP being President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Satar Dada, Mpho Balopi, Dr Comma Serema, Banks Kentse and Moemedi Baikalafi aided by the DISS and certain officers from the IEC.

The BDP argues that the UDC failed to prove that the candidates in the disputed constituencies were engaged in “the commission of corrupt and illegal practices of BDP candidates or with the knowledge and or consent of any of their election or polling agents. The candidates have not been put on notice that the corrupt and illegal practices are attributed to them or their polling agents,”

The BDP also dismiss other petitioners citing that in other constituencies the UDC failed to give the other candidates including those of the Alliance for Progressives (AP) the chance to participate in the election petition. “They say they consulted Ndaba Gaolathe but he was not the candidate of the constituencies in question,” the BDP argue.

Turning to the affidavits made by Baikalafi, which the UDC heavily rely on, the BDP have also quashed his claims citing that they are not lawfully authenticated.

“Without a verifying affidavit, the petition in so far as they relate to ascertation attributed to Moemedi Baikalafi are a nulidity,” the papers read.

The main respondents, the IEC which is the body responsible for the running of the electoral process, on the other hand argue that their part in the petitions is not clearly stated by the UDC- as the law dictates.

They further argue that the IEC is not properly before court in respect that all remedies and reliefs that the petitioner seeks against the commission are incompetent. “This is more so the Petitioner challenges the elections that were conducted by the 1st respondent (the IEC).”

The UDC and its candidates are expected to respond to the BDP and thereafter a date will be set for arguments. The judges have said that the cases are a matter of urgency and should be dealt with and disposed of in 90 days (by next year February).

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Your daughter is not yours

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DNA TEST EXPOSES WIFE’S AFFAIR WITH BROTHER- IN -LAW

A cheated husband who unknowingly raised his brother- in- law’s child as his own for three years ended the marriage in court this week and demanded a refund.

Gilbert Tom, on Wednesday divorced Mpale Tom nee Roberts after DNA tests results revealed that that their last-born child was not biologically related to Tom. They had been married for 15 years.

Tom, 50, became suspicious that his wife was cheating in 2009 when his brother in-law got into the habit of dropping off Mpale at their house after work.

Mpale, 43, fell pregnant in 2016 and when the baby was born, her husband was shocked that the baby was a spitting image of his older sister’s husband.

He then launched his own investigations in Mpale’s phone where he found messages that confirmed his suspicions
Some text messages revealed that Mpale was so much in love with her brother -in -law that she was even prepared to bewitch her husband’s sister to get her out of the way.

After finding out for certain that he was raising a child who was not his, Tom served Mpale with divorce papers.

She did not contest the divorce and readily confessed in court that Tom was not the father of her three-year-old daughter.

Divorce was granted and Judge Gabanagae ordered that the child be excluded from Tom’s responsibilities.

WIFE: Mpale

However Tom went further and demanded that his brother- in- law and his ex- wife pay him costs of raising a child that was not his, which are to be determined by court at a later date.

According to a relative who refused to be named for fear of victimization Mpale and her brother-in law worked together at a mine in Toteng village in 2013 and the family suspects that was when the disgraced couple started the affair.

She said coincidentally in 2016 the two found another job and moved to Francistown together.

“These people were too deep. We never thought they could do that to their partners and we thought they just related well as family members and little did we know that they were dating. This is painful for both families and it is very unfortunate that an innocent child has now been caught in the middle,” said the concerned relative

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Mokubilo man accused of rape

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Letlhakane Police are investigating an incident in which a 28-year-old man allegedly raped a 34-year-old woman in the early hours of Monday morning (25 November).

The lady was on her way to Mokubilo Clinic – walking from the lands – when she reportedly met her armed attacker.

Taking over the narrative, Letlhakane Station Commander, Michael Maphephu told The Voice, “She reported that the suspect threatened to stab her with a sharpened iron rod.

“The suspect was arrested on the same day and will appear before court as soon as the Magistrate returns from sick leave,” said Maphephu, adding he could not release the accused’s name until he appears in court.

The worried police boss revealed this was the 89th rape case registered in his jurisdiction since the start of the year.

Maphephu added that most incidents involved women returning home in the evening after drinking or walking alone in the bush.

“I urge people to always walk in groups when they come from the bars or ask for company from trusted people when using bushy roads,” advised the top cop.

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