Sadique Kebonang’s mother, Jeanette Mooketsi had a rude awakening when the court ruled that suffering on account that her car has been taken was not reason enough to give it back to her.
Court of Appeal judge, Justice Monametsi Gaongalelwe on Friday told the former minister’s mother that such reason is part of the purpose of the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act.
Mooketsi had requested the court to give her car back because she will suffer a great deal because she uses it to visit medical doctors both locally and in South Africa.
The car was part of the property seized during investigations relating to the missing P230 million National Petroleum Fund. However, even her heart condition revelation could not move the court as she was told that Parliament was well aware that the Act was bound to cause some inconvenience.
“Suffering prejudice on account of dispossession is not sufficient since Parliament in its undoubted wisdom enacted the particular statute well aware that its implementation was bound to cause inconvenience to the person dispossessed of his or her property,” the judge said. Justice Gaongalelwe denied Mooketsi her car on the basis that she had failed to make an undertaking nor guarantee regarding safety of the vehicle if released to her.
He explained that Mooketsi in her affidavit also did not tell why she would not use alternate transport.
“She does not tell why she would not use public transport such as taxis locally nor a hired vehicle nor travel by other means such as air when going to SA,” he noted.
The judge further said even if he was to consider the request about medical visits, no dates were stated as to when such visits are to be made. He said the matter was not urgent as the court could not ascertain whether such contemplated visits were to be made soon or on some unascertainable future dates which might be after many months.
On the issue of visits to SA, the judge also mentioned that it was common that Botswana vehicles were stolen there, therefore it was risky to allow for the vehicle to cross. “As long as the order is in operation, the vehicle would remain safe and intact. If released to her it would be exposed to depreciation damage and possibly theft,” he said.
The judge said on the strength of all the analysis that any inconvenience that would be suffered by her if stay of the order were refused was far outweighed by the prejudice and the government was likely to suffer.