A warrant of arrest has been issued against former president, Ian Khama, who has been charged with 14 criminal charges ranging from unlawful possession of a firearm to receiving stolen property. Khama has been in a self-imposed exile in South Africa since last year.
According to a warrant of arrest issued by acting regional magistrate, Mareledi Dipate today, Khama is to be apprehended on sight and brought before the Broadhurst Magistrate Court. Khama who is the second accused in the matter has never appeared before court since he was charged in April. Today when Khama’s warrant was issued his co-accused being former spy Chief Isaac Kgosi, suspended police commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe and Victor Paledi were all absent.
The trio however have not missed any court appearance since they were charged alongside Khama. According to the state there are reasonable grounds of suspicion against Khama that he did on or about March 3, 2016 commit the crime of unlawful possession of firearms contrary to section 9(1) of the arm and ammunition act and other offences as detailed in the charge sheet. Other charges include procuring the registration of a firearm by false pretence, aiding and abetting unlawful possession of a firearm and ownership of a firearm not registered in accordance with the Arms and Ammunition Act of 2018. Khama is to be arrested and answer to the said charges and be further dealt with according to the law.
Before the warrant of arrest the State had indicated that it would like to extradite former president Khama into the country to face criminal charges. Until today no progress had been made yet.
Khama in the past told this publication that he will welcome any extradition effort by the state. "My comment is that I would very much welcome an extradition request, because that would give me and my associates an opportunity to expose the lies and fabrications that President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his cronies have been embarking on against me,” Khama told MmegiOnline in an interview at the time. He said extradition doesn’t happen in a manner where one applies today and the next day they are back in the country. “There is a legal process that has to be followed, which includes an appearance in a South African court and that is why I welcome it,” he said.
He added that what comes out in an SA court will be published widely therefore, that would work for him.
This is a developing story.