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No border crossing, accounts access yet for Seretse and co-accused

MPHO MOKWAPE
Bakang Seretse Botho Leburu and Kenneth Kerekang consulting with their attorney Kgosietsile Ngakaagae. PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Bakang Seretse and his co-accused, Botho Leburu and Kenneth Kerekang will wait a little longer to know their fate in their quest to have their bail conditions relaxed.

The trio who are facing money-laundering charges involving over P250 million from the National Petroleum Fund have been fighting to get access to their accounts and given passports in order to be able to travel outside.

However Regional Magistrate for South, Chris Gabanagae delayed their fate saying he will deliver ruling on May 22, 2018 much to dissatisfaction of the defence team.

“I have reasons beyond my control as I will be travelling with the Chief Justice, so the ruling will be delayed,” he said.

Earlier on, Seretse’s lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae accused Directorate of Public Prosecutions of stalling on claims that they are still investigation across boarders.

He explained that as defence they have been ready to plead and proceed with travel but they have been frustrated by the state as they keep on postponing proceeding with trial.

“It is clear that you investigate then you charge and here the State decided to charge our clients and now when we are ready to go for trial they keep talking about investigations,” he said.

He said claims that the State was investigating properties linked to Seretse and money trails was nothing but a façade, as they do not have any solid evidence.

Ngakaagae maintained that the State had nothing, as they could not even pin-point the banks that enabled those money transactions and that they had nothing on other accused.

“We only hear about money being referred to UK and Italy but no bank has been mentioned and on the other hand investigators have nothing on co accused especially on a trail of

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property, its not like investigation are still yet to reach them,” he argued.

On the fear that the accused may interfere with investigations once bail conditions are relaxed, Ngakaagae said the State’s fear was premised on nothing, no evidence at all.

He complained that his client was being made to suffer while the State just takes their time on investigations, which had so far proved futile, as they have never produced any evidence before court.

Ngakaagae made fun of the  State saying that they needed counselling, looking at that the accused persons have never shown any sign of absconding from court since given bail and that they have been in court all the time.

“Bail is meant for the accused to attend court at given times and the accused have all times attended without any problem.

“Their bail conditions should be relaxed and if at all they break the rules, well they would have forfeited it and will be revoked,” he said.

On opposing bail conditions relaxation, State’s lawyer Wesson Manchwe said it was premature for that as investigations were still ongoing.

He argued that the accused may interfere with investigations, especially Seretse who investigations have revealed that he owned many properties in South Africa that are tied to the investigations as they were allegedly acquired with the petroleum fund.

“Being allowed to travel, he might interfere with investigations on those properties and also the trail of money linked to him that has been traced to UK and Italy. This is a premature request for bail relaxation,” he explained.



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