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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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BDF Major accused of raping colleague’s wife

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A Botswana Defence Force soldier, Major Mmusi Olefile, appeared before a Molepolole Magistrates court last Thursday charged with the rape of his colleague’s wife following a drinking spree at a pool party.

The state alleges that the 36-year-old soldier on March 24th, 2019 at Thebephatshwa Air Base, where he is currently stationed, raped his 33-year-old victim.

It is alleged that on the fateful day Olefile and the victim who is the wife to his co-worker who is also a Major, met at the pool party that was held at the camp.

Later on in the morning at around 0500hrs the woman was dropped off by her friends at her house as she was too drunk to drive, and Olefile is said to have then followed her and entered her house through the window and raped her.

The victim is said to have informed her friends and husband who was attending a military course in Nigeria at the time.

The matter was then reported before the military police before the case was opened at Molepolole police station.

Olefile pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against him and the prosecution did not oppose his bail application.

Magistrate Kefilwe Resheng granted Olefile a P3000.00 conditional bail and ordered him to provide two sureties who would bind themselves with the same amount each.

Final case management conference was set for April 28th, 2020, while trial dates have been scheduled for  9th and 10th June, 2020.

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For denying me sex you die

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HORNY HUSBAND IN COURT FOR THREAT TO KILL

A horny 40-year-old man is said to have threatened to kill his wife, allegedly brandishing a loaded gun in her face when she refused to have sex with him.

Although Buddah Moabi reportedly also promised to shoot his two daughters as well as himself, he has only been charged with a single count of threat to kill.

The threat against Patience Moabi is believed to have been uttered on Sunday night at the couple’s matrimonial home in Maun’s Boronyane ward.

Speaking to Okavango Voice outside Maun Magistrates Court on Tuesday, Prosecutor Paul Basupi revealed the Moabis’ had been having ‘misunderstandings’ in their marriage, with their parents often having to intervene.

“Their problems heightened on the 11th of January when the accused asked for his conjugal rights and the wife declined citing that she’s not feeling well. However, later she gave in to his demands,” claimed Basupi, adding Buddah again requested sex the next night.

“Again on the 12th the accused asked his wife to have sexual intercourse with him but the wife went to the bathroom to bath. It is alleged that the accused followed her to the bathroom and they bathed together, at the same time uttering words of insult to his wife.”

According to the prosecutor, the insults rose to a deadly new level in the bedroom.

“The wife finished bathing and went to the bedroom where the accused followed her, holding his gun with four live ammunitions. Moabi showed his wife the ammunition and told her that the first is for her and two for their daughters with the final bullet for him. The accused then pointed the gun towards his wife and told her whether she likes it or not she is going to have sex with him. The wife screamed and he left her,” continued Basupi.

Despite the seriousness of the accusations, the couple seemed to have reconciled and even shared a quick kiss when court went into recess.

Buddah, who works as an Engineer for BTC, was released on conditional bail. He was ordered to leave the matrimonial home immediately and to stay away until the case’s conclusion.

He was also told that contact with the complainant was to be limited to cellphone calls specifically regarding his children’s welfare. Otherwise, he is not to contact or visit his wife.

The accused is also expected to report to Maun Police Station monthly.

Buddah is due back in court on 24 February.

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An Eye for What?

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Sunday. Almost noon in Gaborone. From the pulpit, Pastor Godwill’s beady eyes follow his most-trusted foot soldiers lug bags of tithes behind a curtain where the money counting takes place.

With such a generous flock, he will move the church out of the tent into a proper building before Easter.

He will buy a house, then a jet. He raises his hands and sways to the rhythm of the closing hymn.

The church goers dissect the homily and sing the pastor’s praises as they file into the sunlight: “Oh, God! Daddy was on point today.” “May he stay blessed.” “Halleluja, Pastor.” “Amen, Pastor.”

No one notices a young man who has been skulking around the parking lot. He sidles up to a gleaming, new, black SUV.

Big lettering on the side proclaims ‘The Church of New Life’.

It belongs to the pastor—a Christmas gift from a recently-born again member.

He peers inside. Bibles, prayer books. More Bibles. The big money briefcase is not there.

He continues to pad, cat-like, around the bumper-to-bonnet filled parking lot. In another car he spies a woman’s handbag lodged under the driver’s seat. A purse peeps out.

The young man steals a quick look around him but sees someone approaching, so he moves on to another car.

He tests the driver’s door. It is locked, but the cellphone in the storage compartment tempts him, and his time is running out.

He picks up a brick and hurls it at window, shattering the glass.

As the alarm rings, he slides his arm inside and pulls out the cellphone.

Weaving between the cars, he makes for the main gate. Someone shouts. “Legodu!” Again. “Legoooodu!” Louder the second time.
It’s like a siren screaming. The able-bodied give chase. Men, women and children emerge from their makeshift shops, from houses to join in.

“Legodu!”Dogs bark the word. Cats meow the word. Cows moo it. Goats bleat it.

The whole neighbourhood emerges to bear witness.

The young man flies towards the main road. If he can cross the highway, he will melt into the bush and then he will be out of reach, but cars and trucks speed up and down the road. He cannot get across, so he off-loads his loot.

But it is too late for him. A man with biceps the size of the thief’s calves grabs him by his waistband and slams him to pavement. The swelling crowd, cheers.

A slap, a kick, a pinch. Another man fetches a sjambok from his boot.

It whistles as it slices the air, cracks as it lands on the thieves back. Once. Twice. Again. Once more.

A woman who was walking to the Kombi stop cannot resist.

She tucks her Bible into her bag and tugs off her stilettoes. She whacks the thief. Punctuates her words with blow: “You.” Rap. “Little.” Rap. “Bastard.” Rap! Rap! Rap! “That’s for the one who stole my purse.” She stands back and gives way for a man to land his punch.

The cheers grow louder.

A woman driving past slows down to see what is happening. She cannot bear to watch.

She pulls off the road to speak into her phone. “They are going to beat him to death,” she reports.

“Please hurry.” Tears roll down her face.

By the time the police arrive, the young man is soaked in a red sea.

The men in blue-grey uniforms leap from their vehicle.

One of them charges through the crowd that refuses to part.

When he finally reaches the young man, it is to confirm that his life has been stolen.

And still, the crowd cheers.

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