Statement to the public in the aftermath of the public statement made and released by the DCEC on the 28th August, 2018
1. We are under instruction to respond to a public statement made by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and circulated by the same entity on government and other media as of today the 28th August, 2018. Whilst it is our clients’ approach not to litigate through public statements, we consider that the conduct of the DCEC has reached a point where it merits a public response.
2. It is true that on the 23rd August, 2018, our clients were granted relief by the High Court, per Dube J, whereof certain properties were to be released to them by the aforesaid entity. Such properties had been seized from clients without a warrant. Instead of placing the same properties before a judicial officer for the validation of the seizure(s), as is required by law, the DCEC, the DPP and the Attorney General sought to argue that constitutional subjects have no recourse to law in the case of property seizures made by the DCEC. Their argument was rightly thrown out by the Regional Magistrate Court, Gaborone, and they were ordered specifically to act lawfully and to subject their acts to judicial scrutiny. The DCEC thereupon irregularly and mischievously applied for and obtained an absolute order ex-parte (in the absence of our clients). They thereafter declined to serve our clients with the pleadings behind their application (in which our clients were cited as Respondents). Our efforts to get copies of the pleadings from the court were also unsuccessful. It was on the basis of that ugly spectacle that our clients approached the High Court for relief and that the High Court ordered the release of the properties subject to a restraining order regarding their use, movement and alienation.
3. On the late evening or night of the 24th Aug, 2018, in our clients’ absence, the DCEC, with the assistance of the Attorney General, approached the High Court for a stay of execution of the order by Dube J, which stay was granted by Garekwe J. pending arguments on the merits of the stay. Arguments were set for the 14th September, 2018 which date our clients await. It must be emphasized, again, that for the third time in under two months, the DCEC moved against our clients ex-parte (in our absence) in order to avoid opposition.
4. It is in the public interest to state that the DCEC have, as an organisation, become an irredeemably corrupt entity specializing in putting up appearances while the nation is decimated by a cancer of corruption by politicians and the ruling elite. The professions made in the DCEC in their statement concerning the agency’s commitment to the fight against corruption are but one of the many attempts meant to fool the public into believing that something is being done against corruption in the country. The truth is that the DCEC and the DPP are presently sitting on many dockets, some involving cabinet ministers (known to us) whose investigations were concluded long before the coming into the picture of the case under discussion.
5. It must be emphasized that our clients do not, and have not sought to resist a trial. Our clients are content in their defences and safe in their innocence. It is a fact that our clients have only acted under government authority and are now being used as a smokescreen to protect the political elite and to keep the public appeased with a sham corruption trial. The authority under which our clients have acted is a matter for the public domain, the documents thereto having been released during the deliberations of the Public Accounts Committee over the last months. It is a matter for the record that to date the signatories to the written mandates under which our clients acted have not been warned or cautioned by the DCEC, have never seen the inside of a jail cell as have our clients, and have not been charged with money laundering. Many are still serving in senior government posts to this very day.
6. It would make sense for the DCEC not to take the public for fools and to explain the above situation if indeed they are what they claim to be. The DCEC’s calls for patience are misplaced and
7. As the public would be aware from recent media reports, there have been disclosures speaking to the relationship between the Office of the President with Dignia Systems dating many years. We have become aware that the DCEC have known about the same even as they harassed our clients before the courts. On the night of the 3rd December, 2017, the DCEC were made aware of the contract between Dignia Systems and the Office of the President, published in Mmegi of the 24th August, 2018. At the time, our clients were in police cells in DCEC custody. We are aware of a meeting between them and the DIS where they were officially advised of the same. Our clients were then slapped with charges in order to manage public uproar as the matter had already spilled into the public domain and had gone viral on social media. The DCEC withheld the same document and the fact of that meeting and never disclosed it in all proceedings so far, including the matter before Radijeng J, at the High Court, with a view to keeping everybody misinformed and protecting the Office of the President.
8. The DCEC have as such, no moral authority to lecture anyone on corruption. The agency is corrupt to the core. They must concentrate on their de facto mandate of prosecuting Police Constables and sergeants for misappropriating speed fines and accepting menial bribes as opposed to taking cheap shots at our clients.
9. It is worth recording that as late as the last day of July, 2018, Dignia Systems Ltd officials were in Botswana and met with DCEC investigators. Whilst that offered a golden opportunity to the DCEC for their arrest, to avoid extradition and to enhance Mutual Legal Assistance (if indeed they were guilty as the DCEC allege in the case against our clients), they were given near royal treatment by the DCEC investigators and peacefully drove back to their plane after submitting a statement a copy of which we are in possession of. It is a fact that many of the items subject of the payments our clients were ordered to make have been delivered. The DCEC had until then, kept such facts secret and continued to feed the public with lies and false pretences. The Dignia systems officials are the same people who, according to the DCEC, are not only beneficiaries but a part of a P250 000 000, 00 money laundering scheme allegedly committed by our clients.
10. It has been found important to bring the above facts to light in order that the public may not be fooled by the lies and pretences of the DCEC, the Attorney General’s Chambers and the DPP. These organisations are systemically compromised and mortgaged to political and elitist interests hence their incapacity to deal with the corrupt high and mighty. This state has festered over the last ten years in which they have lost all moral authority. It is important for the public to reclaim these institutions in the public interest. Plans are underway to bring civil action against government to redeem our clients’ integrity. The public is assured that Kenneth Kerekang and Bakang Seretse will not be scapegoats. In spite of the DCEC shenanigans, all individuals who by virtue of their offices have or may have played a role or had knowledge regarding transactions in issue will take up the witness stand to account for their roles.
11. Whilst it would be proper to say that the public should report corruption cases to the DCEC the public are advised to exercise caution and where possible, to trust the Botswana Police and the new DIS with information. The DCEC are nothing but a black hole into which corruption cases concerning politicians and the elite go never to be seen or heard of again.
12. Our clients respectfully await their trial.