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NPF case: Court okays DPP’s 'more evidence' plea

MPHO MOKWAPE
Confiscated property belonging to Seretse PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has been allowed to file more evidence in its quest to recover more assets related to the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money-laundering scandal.

On Monday, High Court judge, Justice Godfrey Radijeng gave DPP the green light to file more supplementary affidavits to the main civil forfeiture application it had filed as an attempt to recover the remaining assets.

The move came after the DPP filed papers to be given leave to file more additional papers on condition that at the time the main application was filed, investigations were still at initial stages and that more information came into light.

Delivering judgement, Justice Radijeng said the DPP’s explanation to seek leave to admit supplementary affidavits was reasonable considering the nature of the evidence or material proposed to be introduced by the affidavits.

“The material to be introduced in the affidavits are relevant to the main application and it would be in the interests of justice that this court admit the supplementary affidavits,” he said. The judge explained that the respondents were missing the point and have not spelt out the nature of the prejudice that would befall them should the application be granted.

He further pointed out that the respondents made no substantial comment on the alleged purchase of equipment from a foreign entity called Dignia Systems Limited and the DPP’s averments of its relatedness to the alleged contravened statutes.

Justice Radijeng further said DPP had submitted that due to the magnitude and complexity of

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the matter, not much had been achieved in the 28 days by way of investigations.

“That the investigations affected and followed the money and asset trail across jurisdictions including South Africa and Israel. They submitted that evidence sought to be introduced by the supplementary was relevant to the proceedings before court and necessary to assist the court to reach a just decision,” he said.

He noted that he considered the DPP’s concern that it only had 28 days after filing of the restraint of property order to file its application for civil forfeiture order, failing which the restraint order would lapse by operation of law.

The judge ordered that supplementary affidavits for Moses Tshelwane, Baruti Regoeng, Major General Molefi Seikano and Elija Motlhasedi be admitted into the record and that the respondents are to file their answer to the affidavits within 21 court days of the order.

Meanwhile the DPP had filed an application for leave to file supplementary affidavits to its main application of civil forfeiture, which was filed on January 12, 2019, and the respondents filed their answering affidavits to the main application opposing it.

The application is part of the NPF case which includes amongst other accused Bakang Seretse, the Kebonang brothers, Zein and Sadique, Kenneth Kerekang, and the recent addition ex-chief spy, Isaac Kgosi.



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