Makgophe, a ‘free’ man


Former commissioner of Police, Keabetswe Makgophe, is the latest to escape criminal prosecution after the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) dropped charges against him.

Makgophe was charged along with former president, Ian Khama, ex-Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) boss Isaac Kgosi, former deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Culture (MYSC), Victor Bruno Paledi, facing three counts of aiding and abetting unlawful possession of firearms. In April 2022, the ex-police chief found himself on the wrong side of the law following accusations of aiding to unlawfully acquire arms of war and ammunition certificates, but now he is a free man. A formal withdrawal notice issued by DPP Director Nomsa Moatswi revealed that a decision has been taken to discontinue criminal proceedings against Makgophe. “I Nomsa Sinki Moatswi, the director of DPP for the Republic of Botswana do hereby stop and discontinue criminal proceedings against the accused person, Keabetswe in a criminal case of State vs.Keabetswe presently before Village’s Magistrate Court,” read Moatswi’s formal notice of abandonment.

Moatswi, who did not detail what informed her decision, mentioned that the withdrawal was in pursuance of her powers under the Constitution and Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Makgophe, whose illustrious civil service career came to an end while still suspended from his lucrative job, was allegedly caught in the Khama-Kgosi web simply for doing administrative work for the duo during their tenure. It was alleged that he and Paledi were just registering the guns as they had already been cleared by customs but despite the claims, DIS went after them with accusations that what they did was criminal and a breach of national security to allow for Khama and Kgosi to have weapons of war. Makgophe, who rose through the police ranks to become Commissioner of Police, was reportedly under investigation for a long time concerning the licensing of guns to both Khama and Kgosi before being charged in 2022. For a long time while still in office, there were reports of suspension, redeployment, and investigations against the former police chief. In 2019, Makgophe allegedly became the DIS’ main target and fell under investigation by the intelligence agency following a raid at Kgosi’s residence where guns and ammunition were confiscated.

Editor's Comment
CoA brings sanity to DIS/DCEC long-standing feud

This decision follows the raiding of the office of the former Director General of the DCEC, Tymon Katlholo early 2022 and his staff officer by the DIS operatives who reportedly took files that they had targeted.After all back and forth arguments, the CoA has set the record straight giving an invaluable lesson to the DIS that it was no super security organ and it does not have any powers to cogently supervise other security organs including the...

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