The man at the helm of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime’s (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo has been vindicated on his dismissal of the P100 billion ‘Butterfly’ case. Katholo, one of the pioneers of the DCEC who made a return to the entity 12 months ago, has long said the case was not air tight and he is not surprised Wilheminah 'Butterfly' Maswabi walked free. He has since said they would do as the court has ordered.
The turn of events could mean that Hubona and Israel will face disciplinary action from their principal.
Passing judgement on the review application, Justice Zein Kebonang declared that the allegations and accusations against the applicant were fabricated and outright false. He also declared that the accusations contained in the opposing affidavit of DCEC investigator Jako Hubona to the effect that Maswabi is a signatory to various bank accounts held in various South African commercial banks under companies called Blue Files and Fire Files with a total balance in excess of US10 billion were fabricated and are outright false as such accounts do not exist and the said companies are also non-existent.
Kebonang went beyond just dropping the case, he found fault with two senior public servants and recommended that action be taken against them.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Stephen Tiroyakgosi is referred to the President of Botswana as the appointing authority to consider his removal from office of the DPP. He is also referred to the Law Society of Botswana (LSB) for investigation and appropriate sanction. The first respondent is also referred to the Attorney General as his line supervisor for investigation and possible prosecution,” he said.
Investigator Jaco Hubona is referred to the Commissioner of Police for prosecution for perjury and to the DCEC Director General (Katlholo) as his line supervisor for disciplinary action.
Attorney Priscilla Israel is also referred to Katlholo (her line supervisor) and Permanent Secretary to the President for disciplinary action. LSB is also to investigate her conduct and take an appropriate sanction.
Kebonang directed the Registrar of the High Court to submit a copy of this judgment to President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Director General of the DCEC, the chairperson of the LSB, the Permanent Secretary to the President, the Commissioner of Police and the Attorney General for appropriate remedial action. After the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) dropped the charge of financing terrorism against Maswabi in November last year. She remained charged with two counts, being possession of unexplained property and false declaration of a passport which Justice Kebonang dropped this past Monday.
The particulars of offence on count of possession of unexplained property say “the accused person also known as Lorato Hilton on a date unknown to the prosecutor, but between December 1, 2018 and October 17, 2019 in Gaborone whilst employed as a civil servant, to wit, a computer programmer at DIS was in control pf pecuniary resources disproportionate to her present or past known sources of income or assets”.
On count of false declaration of passport she is accused of with intent to obtain a passport by making a false statement to an immigration officer to the effect that her names were Lorato Hilton when it was not true.
Before the charge of financing terrorism was dropped, she was accused of moving money around linked to former spy chief, Isaac Kgosi. She was also accused of having the sum of U$D390 million in her personal account and having five different passports she used to travel across the world of which one is a diplomatic passport and that she has not surrendered to the police.
The State had said Butterfly was charged because she was a signatory to the accounts that were used to transfer money, some of which was in the sum of P48 million.
The DPP recently made an application to withdraw the remaining charges of possession of unexplained property and false declaration for a passport, citing complexity of investigations difficulty to acquire evidence. They requested for the charge to be dropped with liberty to reinstate it at a later date when enough evidence would have been gathered.
Maswabi’s attorney, senior counsel Unoda Mack said the State’s move is meant to frustrate the hearing on the application, insisting that there is no withdrawal of charges necessary while there's a pending review application.