Attorney General defies court order to take DCEC files for safekeeping
The case in which the Director General (DG) of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo, seeks to interdict the DIS from meddling in DCEC investigations, was set to proceed on Thursday (yesterday) in camera.
During an urgent application that was filed on Sunday and heard on Monday, the court had ordered that a representative of the Attorney Generals and under the escort of the Botswana police Service, specifically SSG, should take custody of the DCEC documents that were demanded by the DIS and deposit them for safekeeping in a vault at the High court.
However, it has emerged that the office of the Attorney General had by Wednesday blatantly defied the court order and the documents were still languishing at the DCEC boss’s office, which remains sealed.
Meanwhile, inside sources have revealed that it is not business as usual at the DCEC as staff had to undergo counselling because of the uncertainty brought about by the invasion of the corruption-busting agency by the spy agency.
“There is also the heightened tension between the DG and the controversial deputy DG, Priscilla Israel, which is palpable and evident in the office,” a source said, adding that apparently trouble started at DCEC offices sometime in June last year when Israel was reportedly transferred form the DPP to spy on Katlholo in particular.
“She has lodged a formal complaint with Minister Morwaeng that Katlholo did not welcome her nicely on the first day. She also reported him for allegedly fraternising with the opposition by inviting MP for Jwaneng Mabutsane, Mephato reatile, to a DCEC event in the MP’s area once,” the reliable source further stated.
In a supporting affidavit for the Thursday case, DCEC has come out guns blazing to condemn the manner in which the DIS have been demanding files from DCEC since 2021 to date as unlawful and akin to an attempt to undermine and micromanage an autonomous instruction.
Katlholo further avers that,“The DIS deliberately wants to administratively destabilise the DCEC.”
The Voice can reveal that the DG has listed at least eight files that the DIS is interested in, most of which are closed, save for the Sebina brothers’ corruption case, which is still under investigations.
For its part, the DIS has raised preliminary points arguing that the DG has no authority to represent DCEC in court matters and therefore cannot instruct any lawyers to do so on his behalf.
Although Katlholo has intimated at suspicions that the DIS wanted to gain unlimited access into his office, not necessarily for the closed files but to steal files relating to investigations of some so their high ranking officials, when appearing before the parliamentary public accounts committee, the DIS DG, Peter Magosi, said that no one is above the law and that if he, too, were to be investigated, he would not interfere with such investigations.
Magosi further told PAC that everything that the DIS has been doing is within the limits of the law and that, in time, the public will get to understand why the DIS did certain things the way they did.