Masisi family in a court drama

Olebile Pilane PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Olebile Pilane PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

A contradiction in his initial statement may cost President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s nephew Olebile Pilane big in the case before court.

Today, the legal court battle that has pitted the first family against each other ensued before Gaborone High Court judge Michael Leburu. In the case, Pilane has taken his aunts and their business associates to court over the P550 million Goodhope water tender.

Pilane took the stand as the first and only witness in the plaintiff case. Pilane detailed how he was elbowed out of a company, G &M Building, which he says he was the managing director and one of the shareholders.


He told the court that he played a critical role in making sure that the company together with others win the Goodhope tender,

According to him, a Chinese businessman, Hua shi Li for him to ‘rescue’, approached him. He claims the company had not been doing well in so far as water tenders were concerned and that 40% shares and a monthly salary of about P45, 000 and other benefits would compensate him.

He says this would go on until he received a call from Li, who he claims told him that the Director General (DG) of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) has told him that they had won the tender.

He says his relationship with his Chinese businessman soured when he refused to donate 5% of the tender money to the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

He further said he was then called for a meeting at his aunt’s house, Masisi’s sister Boitumelo Mmutle Phadi where he says he was forced to resign from the company.

He says he was threatened that Magosi would ‘deal’ with him if he did not. He further said he would later meet Magosi where he says the DIS boss told him his aunt sent him. Pilane further says Magosi told him to hand over a copy of a cheque for the BDP and to leave the matter alone as it would embarrass the family, “the Masisi family “

However, during a heated cross-examination the defendant’s lawyer Obrien Bvindi put it to Pilane that he has committed perjury by Lyon under oath. Bvindi put it to Pilane that in his initial statement he has told the court that he did not resign but left the meeting without signing the resignation letter which he claimed was written for him.

However, today in court he testified that he signed under duress. Bvindi put to Pilane that he withdrew the earlier matter of a petition because he was caught in a lie, to which Pilane responded, “I withdrew the matter after advise from my attorneys that we would lose the matter because of a point of law raised.”

Bvindi further put it Pilane that the reason why his relationship with Li soured was not because of the BDP issue as he claimed but because he has not distributed a some of P100, 000 that was deposited into his (Pilane) account by Li to give to their company lawyer.

Court heard that instead Pilane only gave the lawyer P60, 000 and kept the rest for himself, a matter that is before the Broadhurst police.

Cross-examination continues tomorrow.

Editor's Comment
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