Mmegi Online :: The dangers and risks of probing a spymaster
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The dangers and risks of probing a spymaster

The men and women who investigated DIS director general Isaac Kgosi were tasked with a most dangerous assignment. The lives of the investigators were in constant danger from forces that wanted to thwart the probe, reports Mmegi Staff Writers, NTIBINYANE NTIBINYANE and THALEFANG CHARLES
By Ntibinyane Ntibinyane Thalefang Charles Fri 19 Dec 2014, 11:04 am (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: The dangers and risks of probing a spymaster








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The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) officers investigating Kgosi were protected by several security organs including the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) in an expensive operation. Exclusive information obtained by Mmegi indicates that Kgosi investigators feared for their lives, hence the operation warranted high-level protection. The danger was so serious that at the height of the investigation, DIS operatives threatened some of the investigators. Even the DCEC boss Rose Seretse and her deputy, Donald Mckenzie – an Australian citizen – were not spared by forces seeking to stop the investigation. Seretse received protection from a team of DCEC intelligence, Botswana Police special units with assistance from military intelligence while Mackenzie was guarded by American and British security agents.

Information seen by Mmegi shows that unknown assailants physically attacked several DCEC officers during the investigation. One DCEC officer was stabbed with a sharp instrument on the neck by persons suspected to be linked with DIS. Memory sticks were stolen during the attack. Homes of investigators were broken into and laptops and other digital gadgets were stolen.

At one point, the investigators were covertly moved from house to house in Gaborone in disguise to protect them from attacks. In the end, the DCEC used a lot of money to protect the investigators.

“These threats were not taken lightly. The investigators were dealing with some of the country’s most dangerous persons and maximum protection was needed. Again, there were few individuals within the DCEC who were suspected to be leaking information regarding the investigations to the DIS, this nearly frustrated the investigations,” said a DCEC insider.

Fearing for the investigators’ lives, DCEC head, Seretse approached the BDF commander to discuss protection for her officers. “The BDF director however informed Seretse that issues of security are handled by the police and that the BDF can only act when they are approached by the Commissioner of Police,” said a source familiar with the investigations.

Mmegi has it on good authority that some time in April 2012, Seretse talked to the Commissioner of Police about the protection of the investigators

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after they made a major breakthrough in the probe. “The Police agreed to offer 24-hour security protection for the officers and further sought the assistance of the BDF in protecting the investigators,” confirmed another source in the security sector.

It is said the police monitored the homes of all the investigators for several months while the investigations were on-going. Military Intelligence and Military Police were also roped in to offer support. “A senior BDF officer was appointed to lead the BDF support team,” said one of the sources.

Sources have told Mmegi that despite protection given to the investigators by BDF and the Police, fears remained. Mckenzie who was engaged by DCEC in 2011 was forced to send his family back to Australia following intelligence that his life and that of his wife and children were under threat. At one point, the DIS attempted to deport him alleging that he did not posses a work permit. The move was thwarted by DCEC intelligence. At one point, the Australian High Commission in Pretoria advised Mckenzie to terminate his contract and save his life. Mckenzie however chose to stay in the country until December 2013 when his contract ended. He was provided with security by the United States and Britain through their diplomatic missions in Botswana. 

Investigators now investigated

After nailing their most high profile subject in a very expensive and dangerous operation, the DCEC investigators are now in the cold. Mmegi is informed that all the officers who worked on the case are under probe for their role in the investigation of Kgosi. The excuse that has been used by Kgosi’s officers to push for the investigation of the unsung heroes is the leakage of confidential information on the case to the media. The intention is to destroy the credibility of the officers for their role in probing the ‘untouchable chief spy’. The counter-investigation has apparently sparked an all out inter-intelligence war that could explode into a chaotic mess.

The intelligence community is said to be torn between the warring pro and anti-Kgosi forces.

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