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Gaolathe's link in BPOPF saga

STAFF WRITER
Gaolathe
It has since emerged that Gaborone Bonnington South MP, Ndaba Gaolathe is on the payroll of Tim Marsland, who is one of the key players involved in the country’s highest profile capital market dispute.

The dispute revolves around more than P400 million of public pension fund assets currently being fought over at the High Court.

By his own admission, Gaolathe has confirmed that he has entered into a technical and strategic partnership agreement with Fleming Asset Management Botswana. This was after Fleming sold out to Capital Management Africa (CMA) owing to the Stanbic Bank scandal. The Competition Authority (CA) merger notice No. 12 of 2017 also shows that CMA acquired 100% issued shares in Fleming from Robert Fleming Botswana Holdings and Starfish.

CMA is an investment holding company specialising in private equity management. A South African, Marsland wholly owns CMA, which in turn wholly owns Capital Management Botswana (CMB). In turn, CMB controls Capital Management Botswana Fund One (CMBF). CMBF wholly owns Bona Life. It has been reported several times in the media that the soft-spoken legislator has voluntarily declared these interests to the Speaker of National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe in May last year.

Following the bare-knuckle fight between one of Marsland’s companies, CMB and Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF), which prompted the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) to take CMB to court so that it is placed under statutory management, it is not clear why Gaolathe is still in the employ of the Marsland-owned asset management company. Gaolathe, who is regarded

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as the anti-corruption crusader, is apparently on a P150,000 month salary at Fleming.

Contacted for comment, Gaolathe was reluctant to respond to the issues. At first he said he only speaks on national issues. When it was pointed out that this is a national issue since it speaks about pensions of the masses, he said: “Yes I am part of Fleming, which has nothing to do with CMB or BPOPF”.

Last month Gaolathe was at the forefront of a motion that urged Parliament to resolve to request former President Ian Khama to appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the alleged abuses at the National Petroleum Fund (NPF), as a matter of urgency. The motion was defeated.

Prominent asset manager Bakang Seretse, Botho Leburu and Kenneth Kerekang are facing money-laundering charges involving over P250 million from the NPF.

Meanwhile, Justice Omphemetse Motumise this week postponed judgement in the P400m pensioners’ funds case. Motumise was due to deliver his verdict on Tuesday, but has requested more time to April 24, 2018. The matter involves the NBFIRA seeking to place CMB under statutory management. NBFIRA, acting on complaints from the BPOPF, suspects CMB of numerous acts of maladministration and possible criminal acts. The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is also investigating CMB and has seized some of its vehicles.



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