Hard lessons learnt from Kgori Capital verdict

Last week the apex court overturned the High Court judgement that Kgori Capital and its directors that they benefitted from serious crime-related activities and that the value of the benefit amounted to P10, 525,768.79.

The Court of Appeal (CoA) case related to an order of a civil penalty granted under the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act by Justice Godfrey Nthomiwa against Kgori and its directors pursuant to an application by the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP). Regarding the Kgori judgement, the following questions arise:

l The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) has never denied engaging Khulaco to transact on its behalf. The issue in dispute was the commission paid. Khulaco has advised government in advance of its 20% commission and they were told to proceed executing the mandate. 

l If there was a dispute on the commission, this became purely contractual and not a criminal one. Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the DPP sought to criminalise the transaction first by hiding the DIS/ Dignia Systems contract and hiding the fact that government had received delivery of its goods from Israel.

Then, there is the issue of the Kebonang twins. When it comes to the twins, it is common cause that Judge Zein Kebonang was paid by Basis Points Capital for the consultancy project he did while still employed by the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA). In terms of the Kgori judgement, the State has no business in that private dealing. The payments did not come from government and could not give rise to a criminal charge.

Basis Points Capital has never complained of being defrauded and so the DPP cannot criminalise such private dealings.  As for former Minister Sadique Kebonang, it is common cause that he sold his houses to fund manager Bakang Seretse. What was criminal about such private sale? How parties spent the money earned through their private dealings can never, and should never have led to criminal proceedings. Both the DCEC and the DPP have acted in bad faith to destroy lives and destinies. The judgement is likely to also have a bearing on the recent seizure of Isaac Kgosi’s assets. These were seized on suspicion of wrong-doing.  The CoA says suspicions are not enough. You can only deprive someone of their assets on facts. The DCEC has never approached Choppies directors Ramachandran Ottapathu, and Farouk Ismail or Sadique Kebonang for a statement why Kgosi was being paid.  On the contrary, they say these were business partners! That averment negates any claim of money laundering! They have not even established that Ismail, Ottapathu nor Sadique had unlawfully obtained funds elsewhere with the knowledge of Kgosi, which was then remitted to Kgosi!

This spy war has nothing to do with anything other than vengeance. Peter Magosi believes Kgosi had him dismissed from the army and he sees his appointment as an opportunity to get even with Kgosi and former president Ian Khama.  President Mokgweetsi Masisi is not getting any objective or fair intelligence briefings. He needs to realise this and do so soon.


Today’s thought 

“It does, accordingly, appear that the DPP sought to escalate what essentially is a contractual dispute as to interpretation and may be  rectification to a criminal matter.” 

 – Justice Louis Harms

Editor's Comment
DCEC, DIS wars threaten gov’t trust

This came about after the DIS agents raided and sealed the DCEC offices last week in search of files allegedly opened by the corruption bursting agency investigators against some of the DIS officers.The move prompted DCEC head, Tymon Katlholo to approach the court to seek a restraining order against the DIS, which the court duly granted through a rule nisi.The turn of events came as a shock to many, especially that the impasse involves two...

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