The Kebonang brothers, High Court Judge Zein and former Minister Sadique might not be off the hook yet in the money laundering case involving the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) P250 million loot.
This is according to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who argued that the judgement issued on Tuesday by the High Court, which reviewed and set aside the decision of the State to prosecute the accused, did not have relevance nor any bearing on the NPF case before the Magistrate’s Court.
The twin brothers’ lawyer, Unoda Mack told the Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday when the accused persons appeared before Court that his clients had no business with the case as a result of the judgement.
He explained that his clients were entirely taken out of the whole matter, therefore there was no reason for them to appear before court anymore.
“As far as I am concerned my clients have no business on this matter as a result of yesterday’s judgement, the cases are the same, the charge sheet is the same, it’s State’s business as they keep splitting the cases but they are the same case and my clients are excused,” he said.
However, State lawyer, Wessel Mantswe had a different view on the matter saying the judgement was in respect to the case that had already been committed to the High Court not the one before the Magistrate’s Court. He said the cases were different therefore the brothers were still part of the accused persons in the matter. On another level, Extension 2 Chief Magistrate, Kamogelo Mmesi could not immediately state her position on the case saying she will have to read the judgement first and make a ruling on the next mention.
Still on the NPF case, the lawyers for the accused persons are gunning for the charges to be dropped as the State has failed to show what exactly they are charged with exactly.
Kgosietsile Ngakaagae, representing many of the accused persons, including Kenneth Kerekang and Bakang Seretse told the Court that the charges needed to be dropped since DPP had not responded to the exemption application his clients had filed.
Motivating the unopposed application, Ngakaagae said the charges by the State were ambiguous and were not straight forward as what his clients are charged with.
“State has failed to give a clear direction as what their charges are all about, yet we are expected to prepare a defence for charges were not sure about,” he said.
He said that State has been cagey with evidence and expect them to prepare for defence to things they are not sure about.
Ngakaagae said it was clear that the State had no tangible evidence about his clients and that they are just fumbling with the many charges with the hope that some might stick.
“There are many charges here but none is explaining exactly what my clients are charged with. Even the entities my clients are accused to have represented are not named which makes it difficult for us to understand what is going on,” he said.
The State despite having not filed any papers regarding the accused persons’ application wanted to tell Court that they were opposing.
However, Magistrate Mmesi was not having it as she told them that there was nothing on file to show that they were opposing despite even being reminded about the application at the last court appearance.
“I will take the application as unopposed because you had ample time to respond and that you were even reminded in the last court seating but the state still did not bother to file for opposition,” she said.
The case will be back in court on December 8, 2020.