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Maswabi disputes State claims

MPHO MOKWAPE
Mphoeng Maswabi
The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agent Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi known as ‘Butterfly’ in spy circles has denied all the allegations levelled against her as her lawyer went  hunting for more evidence in South Africa.

The 46-year-old, who is facing charges ranging from financing terrorism, possession of unexplained property and false declaration of a passport has denied being signatory to any of the accounts that were alleged to have been used to transfer money that former president, Ian Khama, former spy chief, Isaac Kgosi and South African business woman, Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe are all alleged to be involved in by the State.

According to her founding affidavit, Maswabi who is also accused of having a sum of U$D390m in her personal account and having five different passports, said it is very strange that the State alleges that she has amassed so much wealth when she does not have anything to her name.

“I find it very strange that I could be said to have amassed wealth or assets disproportionate to my name when I do not even have a house to my name or a hefty bank accounts to myself,” she said.

Maswabi also explained that the charge of having pecuniary resources was ludicrous because she has not been given an opportunity to explain her assets, which would have been the first logical thing for the State to do.

In her affidavit Maswabi indicated that she was never questioned about her present and past known sources of income, but was rather intimidated and labelled ‘a difficult person’ by the officers who interrogated her before being charged. 

Maswabi said the officers told her that they were prior warned about her being difficult but could not say who it was who warned them.

On the accusation that she transferred funds in the sum of P48 million to Kgosi, Maswabi said it was surprising that the State alleged that when it did not even have a date when such transaction took place.

She argued that in her view, the State should be able to establish from the documents or whatever instrument

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that gave rise to the charges.

“I have never transferred money to Kgosi, but even if I have which is denied, how does transferring money to him an act of financing terrorism when he has never been charged with terrorism despite the offence being alleged to have taken place on January 15, 2019?” she queried.

Maswabi further questioned why the SA Company was not charged since the State alleged that the money was transferred using the company, noting that those were fundamental issues that should have been dealt with before she was charged.

She further denied having an offshore account in the names given or any other name, pointing out that if the State accused her of having such and having transferred the money, it should be able to give evidence for such.

On the passport she is alleged to possess and is refusing to return, Maswabi explained that the document was used for intelligence missions abroad and it was issued with the agreement of her employer and Head of Immigration Department at the time.

“After completing the mission, I personally handed over the passport to the Director General at the time and I saw him put it in the safe. I have no knowledge of what he did with it afterwards, but I can confirm to the court that I never had to use it again afterwards,” she said.

Maswabi was denied bail on Tuesday by the Gaborone High Court after the State said she was a flight risk.

Meanwhile her attorney, Uyapo Ndadi in a brief chat with Mmegi said he was currently in South Africa where is meeting with Motsepe-Radebe who allegedly is one of the people who had dealings with Maswabi.

Ndadi further said he could not give any information at time on whether they will appeal the bail ruling as he was gathering more information.



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