Mmegi Online :: War Over High Profile Witnesses
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Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 21:38 pm.
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War Over High Profile Witnesses

The battle line for witnesses in the Nchindo case has now reached the High Court. A bitter war of legal minds has ensued before Justice Singh Walia in a counter application brought by Nchindo's legal team in response to the Directorate of Public Prosecution's (DPP) application for a restraining order against Nchindo, his son Garvas Nchindo, Joseph Matome and Jacob Sesinyi.
By Isaiah Morewagae
Staff Writer
(GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: War Over High Profile Witnesses








Interestingly, the battle for witnesses is also the contentious issue in the application. The two camps are fighting over the use of certain cabinet ministers, namely, the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, the Minster of Presidential Affairs, Margaret Nasha, Nicholas Oppenheimer and High Court Judge David Newman.

Nchindo's legal team contends that it is important to consult with these people for purposes of preparing any answering papers in response to the application for a restraining order brought by the DPP. However, State Counsel Matlhogonolo Phuthego opposed the request for fear that whatever will be discussed with the witnesses will relate to what they have said in their depositions relating to the charges in a criminal trial, "and Nchindo and his co-accused attempt (clearly from the fact that they are opposed to the restraining order application) cannot conceivably aim for anything other than to extract favourable concessions from the witnesses".

"If Nchindo and his co-accused need the witnesses to clarify particular aspects of the evidence, then that can be done through cross examination. There can be no doubt that whatever discussion

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may ensue between the witnesses and Nchindo and others will be an admissible reference point for cross-examination in the criminal trial," Phuthego said.

Advocate Peter Hodes was quick to justify their engagement with the witnesses. He pointed out that their intentions are not to intermediate or persuade cabinet ministers.

Hodes told the court that they want to consult with Newman on the basis that he was Nchindo's attorney for a long time when he was still the managing director of Debswana, thus he could be of great assistance to them. As for Nicholas Oppenheimer, Hodes told the court that he was the Chairman of Debswana during Nchindo's reign, hence he too could be of assistance to them.

Nchindo's legal team have listed the Attorney General as the first respondent and the Director of Public Prosecution as the second respondent.

Moatlhodi Marumo represents the Attorney General, Matlhogonolo Phuthego, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae and two others appeared for the DPP, while Hodes, Lawrence Khupe and others appeared for the Nchindo's. After gruelling deliberations that lasted two days, Justice Walia reserved the judgement to an unspecified date.

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