Businessman Bakang Seretse’s company Khulaco Management Services was duly appointed with the responsibility for payments of a deal signed by the government and Israeli security company, Dignia Systems for the supply of military equipment and surveillance platforms with associated training over three years.
Mmegi is in possession of a letter dated November 6, 2017, written by former Director General of Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Isaac Kgosi to Mordechi Barashi, the vice president of Dignia Systems, the Israeli arms dealers.
Documents indicate that Kgosi paid half the contract price 12 days after he signed the contract in Gaborone on November 9, 2017 with Barashi.
Seretse, the former energy affairs department director, Kenneth Kerekang and another asset manager, Botho Leburu, were last year arrested for their alleged role in routing the funds to the Israelis. In an ongoing criminal case, the trio has been charged with money laundering for diverting P230 million from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF).
However, in the letter to Barashi, Kgosi wrote: “As you are aware, the Government of Botswana is in the process of procuring goods and services as mentioned above from Dignia Systems Limited. This letter serves to confirm to yourselves that Khulaco Management Services is a company appointed by the Government of Botswana to manage its assets”.
He continued to say he was attaching documentation as confirmation of information about Khulaco Management Services as they will be responsible for payments of this project on behalf of the government. This week, Seretse and Kerekang’s lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae issued a public statement in response to the one released by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) on August 28, 2018.
This follows the relief granted by Justice Jennifer Dube on August 23, 2018 in which certain property belonging to Seretse and Kerekang were to be released to them by the DCEC. The property was seized from Seretse without a warrant. “On the late evening or night of 24th August, 2018, in our clients’ absence, the DCEC, with the assistance of the Attorney General, approached the High Court for stay of execution of the order by Dube J, which stay was granted by Garekwe J pending arguments on the merits of the stay.
“Arguments were set for the 14th September 2018 which date our clients await. It must be emphasised, again, that for the third time in under two months, the DCEC moved against our clients ex-parte [in our absence] to avoid opposition,” Ngakaagae wrote.
He wondered why after nine months, the high and mighty who commanded, in writing, the acts of his clients, are not before the courts whilst Seretse and company are being dragged before the same almost daily and spend most of their time in DCEC interview rooms.
“As the public would be aware from recent media reports, there have been disclosures speaking to the relation between the Office of the President with Dignia Systems dating many years. We have become aware that the DCEC have known about the same even as they harassed our clients before courts.
“On the night of the 3rd December 2017, the DCEC were made aware of the contract between Dignia Systems and the Office of the President, published in Mmegi of the 24th August 2018. “At the time, our clients were in police cells in DCEC custody. We are aware of a meeting between them and the DIS where they were officially advised of the same.
“Our clients were then slapped with charges in order to manage public uproar as the matter had already spilled into public domain and had gone viral on social media. The DCEC withheld the same document and the fact of that meeting and never disclosed in all proceedings so far…”