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I feared DIS - former minister Kebonang

Sadique Kebonang arriving at Parliament to face the PAC PIC. THALEFANG CHARLES
Former Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang says the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and its Director General, Isaac Kgosi are feared by everyone including high ranking government officials and all the way up to cabinet ministers.

The Member of Parliament for Lobatse who was subpoenaed to give evidence to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reviewing the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) corruption scandal told the committee that he approved the variation of the funds from the NPF because he was told that the national security was at stake.

He said that Kgosi and his organisation, the DIS are feared by all. He said that it was unfortunate that people are now facing criminal charges while they thought they acted in line with the Fund by allocating the money to DIS and subsequently approving the variation request.  

“We all have fears, whether real or misconceived. DIS is feared. I fear DIS. DCEC fears DIS. “Equally, I don’t think we can accuse all those who facilitated the disbursements of the funds to DIS. This case is unfortunate because it’s a case where people acted in good order in terms of the Fund Order. People have been charged with money laundering but we all know where the money is,” he said. 

However, Kebonang said he would not want to put fear above the request for variation from the DIS, which he acceded to because he thought it was compelling as the issue of national security was cited.  

Moreover, Kebonang indicated to the committee that at the time when he approved the request for variation after receiving a letter, then a call from Kgosi

informing him about the request letter, he did not see any wrong with his actions. The former Cabinet minister stated they were in agreement with the then acting permanent secretary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Dr Obolokile Obakeng that there was nothing wrong with acceding to the request by DIS for variation.

The legislator who was dropped from cabinet by the new President Mokgweetsi Masisi last week said the Fund has not been managed properly in a long, opening up chances for criminal activities.

“The Fund doesn’t have investment guidelines but in the minutes of the Fund management committee meeting, they were now talking about investing in companies such as Choppies, Wilderness, Insurance and Financial institutions,” he added.

He stated that it was a mistake to have the different funds managed by different ministries and not the Ministry of Finance and Economic development because not all the ministries have the requisite skills to handle fund management.

Mystery surrounds how P250 million that was intended for the construction of fuel storage tanks ended up in Israel, attracting the attention of financial watchdogs and corruption busting agency, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC). 

The money had initially been requested by head of DIS, Kgosi to build fuel containers for security agencies but allegedly ended up transferred to Israel to pay for military, anti-poaching and surveillance equipment.




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