Extension 2 Magistrate Batho Kgerethwa is expected today to deliver ruling in a matter in which the Sebina brothers pleaded with her to rescind the search-and seizure warrant obtained in February 2019 by the Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) in relations to their companies.
The search-and seizure warrant was related to Tshepho Tile Products, TTP, Estate Construction and Estate Property Investments that are owned by Kegone and Tshepho Sebina. Supporting the application in court a year ago, Magosi made it clear that the investigations then being carried out were directed against all those suspected to be associated with Isaac Kgosi, the former DIS boss.
Veteran attorney Unoda Mack, assisted by another senior attorney Moses Kadye and Mompati Sepego last week submitted that what Magosi told the Court was grossly insufficient. Mack argued that it was insufficient to say that some tenders were influenced by Kgosi.
“Nothing is said as to how Isaac Kgosi influenced these tenders. There was no sufficient evidence that any offence was committed,” Mack submitted.
He also wondered if it was an offence to associate, arguing that in fact it was a constitutional right for people to associate. He said there was no link between Magosi’s application with Kgosi. He also said the Magistrate even asked a similar question, but there was no answer. He pleaded with Kgerethwa that it has now become frightfully urgent that his clients be given their documents and certificates to trade.
“The search-and seizure was dramatic and haphazard. There was no inventory created. In their answering affidavit the respondents said they have since prepared an inventory.”
Mack submitted that a warrant must have limits and cannot be overboard and general as it is in the matter before court For her part, state counsel Thato Mujaji argued that pleadings in this matter were long closed adding that in terms of procedure the applicants were out of procedure.
“That will be unprocedural. The order for search-and seizure was lawfully obtained. It is our submission that this Court was satisfied with the application, had it not been satisfied it could have not granted the order,” Mujaji submitted.
She argued that Section 21 (3) of the Intelligence Act empowers the Director General of the DIS to search without a warrant and the search must be in good faith. In response, Mack submitted that his clients were properly before the Court.
“It is permissible to approach the Court to rescind the order. This Court has ruled that we are properly before the Court. Judgement has been postponed to today at 11am.
Below is what Magosi told the Court after he was sworn in English on February 13, 2019
Magosi: During our investigation we found connections between Kgosi and Bango Trading that there is some influence in the tender received by Bango. We suspect that there are accounts that show that there were moneys taken from the profits. Our investigations have revealed that some tenders which were awarded to Bango were influenced by Isaac Kgosi.
Court: Tell the court about how Asphalt Holding Company has benefited?
Magosi: The said company has been awarded tenders of construction which are believed to have been influenced by Isaac Kgosi.
Court: What do you mean that Isaac Kgosi has influenced?
Magosi: During our investigations we’ve found common factors between Isaac Kgosi with this particular company together with others that there has been transaction of funds between themselves and that particular company.
Court: How were those transactions done?
Magosi: We found a common factor on that particular company to have been paying certain plots that we believe to be owned by Isaac Kgosi.
Court: Is that all?
Magosi: Yes that is all.
Court: Explain about Tshepho Sebina
Magosi: Mr Tshepho Sebina is a constructor. He has been awarded construction tenders.
Court: Was due process done in awarding this done?
Magosi: We believe due process was not followed to the letter. There was a gap that was left in order to award this tender.
Court: Do you still request the warrant of search?
Magosi: Yes, we believe the search warrant will help us find what we alleged.