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I was betrayed - Bakang speaks out

Publishing Date : 10 December, 2018

Author : TEBOGO KGALEMANG

One year anniversary into the highly publicised multi-million pula National Petroleum Fund (NPF) case, Bakang Seretse finally speaks out; claiming he has been thrown under the bus by individuals aimed at settling personal and political scores.


Bakang, the Director at Basis Points (Pty) Ltd and Khulaco (Pty) Ltd; BERA Director, Kenneth Kerekang, Judge Dr Zein and Member of Parliament Sadique Kebonang, Kago Setimela, and Mogomotsi Seretse are before the court for the P250 million scandal. In an exclusive interview with WeekendPost this week, Bakang decried that his name and face have become synonymous with corruption, “thanks to a sustained brutal public and media campaign orchestrated by the DCEC,” he said.


“The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is only concerned in bringing shame, fear and intimidation to me. They have displayed naked hatred and bigotry towards me at every opportunity.” Bakang said it is unfortunate that though the State is trying everything possible against him concerning the alleged laundered P250 million, the evidence at hand shows that his deal was an agreed and genuine contract with the DIS and the government at large.


He said the equipment that he was ordered to pay for by the government has arrived; documents get exposed; Israelis proof beyond reasonable doubt that their dealings with him was initiated and actioned by government. “Fast forward one year, the DCEC has made a spectacular U-turn.  Now they are pushing a new narrative that I masqueraded as government employee knowingly that I was not, and duped the DIS.  That is venturing to the absurdity.  Give me a break, that’s the biggest lie I have ever heard since maybe Bill Clinton said he didn’t know Monica Lewinsky. It’s actually annoying and outright childish,” charged Bakang.   


“First it was P250 million that vanished to thin air; then later ‘oh! a government IT system that was erroneously bought! Oh! Kgori earned asset management fees that they were not supposed to get! Oh! there were other bogus DIS transactions’.  I mean where we do we stop with this nonsense?  Now when you give your brother money it is money laundering?  This is interesting.  Very interesting,” Bakang said, adding that, his attorney made a good call earlier on that DCEC will go hunting, “and they won’t find anything.”  


“On their return with disappointment there will burn villages on their return.  All these other accusations are side noises, people burning villages.  It’s people consoling themselves.  DCEC over promised the public, and now that they haven’t gotten anything they have resorted to finding the slightest thing to make a case,” he said. Bakang also weighed on the murder saga involving Vusi Mhlanzi, his business partner. 


There have been allegations linking Bakang with the demise of Mhlanzi, who was shot and killed in South Africa, his native land.  “That is a low point of this case.  It’s blasphemous, malicious and disgusting.  It has one, but only one sponsor being our tormentors.  It is meant to get people question our characters, isolate us and destroy our credibility in the eyes of the public,” he said.


I HAVE BEEN MADE A SCAPEGOAT
Bakang stated that in reality he has been made the blame guy for what was government procurement. “Since I was charged on that dreaded 3rd December 2017, I have been made a scapegoat for fights between the DIS and DCEC, while the public is being made to think that everyone is acting for the interest of justice.” He accused DCEC and its officials for desperately trying to build their careers using his good name.


“Never in the history of Botswana has a group of people or an institution shown so much hatred towards another citizen, like the DCEC has done against me,” he said.  “All State resources have been used against me, and yet the leadership of the country that knows the truth behind this case watches by from a distance. The system is just ‘self-cleansing’ itself using my name.  I am not going to be taken like silent lamb to the slaughter.  That I refuse my fellow citizens.”

I AM BEING ABUSED

If there was a case in the history of Botswana with the most grotesque violation of the rights of the accused, my case is such, he said.  All along the way my rights have been continuously violated-he narrated. He said since the beginning of this case, he has been treated unfairly at the hands of the DCEC organization which behaves like its law. “I was arrested with my co-accused, for a good three days and denied legal assistance; we were sent to the notorious maximum prison, under the most appalling conditions,” he said.  


Bakang stated that his family has been continuously harassed, more embarrassing his 83-year-old mother and his 6-year nephew were subjected to ‘rude’ interrogations by the DCEC. “My employees have been beaten up, offices and homes broken into by the DCEC; colleagues, associates have been intimidated to give false statements against me,” he claimed. “Have had 24-hour surveillance on me and my lawyer – what do they think?   They will find me carrying P250 million in a boot of car?”


Bakang alleged that their phones have been illegally tapped such that he can barely have a conversation on the phone. “They have run numerous sponsored articles in the newspapers.  They are very active in social media as well.  I mean I have never come across a policeman that is concerned about public opinion.  They want to run this case by media,” he said.


“Is this the Botswana that we know? Or maybe one that we thought we knew?  Some enjoy the treatment being dished to me, but I warn you it can become you tomorrow.  We are becoming like some of our neighbouring countries that I won’t name out of respect, whereby state institutions are being used to settle personal or political scores.  We should be worried.”


ON A FAIR TRIAL

Bakang said there are not having a fair trial because DCEC keeps changing its narrative at every opportunity to suit themelves accusing them of hiding documents from the public, delaying the trial as well as political interference and prosecutorial misconduct. “On our side we have documents, and evidence.  On the DCEC side is conspiracies and hearsay.  There is lot of gaps in their dispositions. There is so much ethical impropriety from the prosecution. 


Are you aware that we saw the recent charges in social media before we were served with them?  The excitement and opportunity to malign people was too good not to wait for us to be first served,” he said.“The DCEC is an organization that is hell-bent on getting me while not playing fair.  They keep deceiving the honourable courts at every opportunity.  One case is whereby they were ruled against by Judge Dube and Judge Letsididi, they then go to another court, apply for the same matter whilst pretending it’s a completely new matter.  I am certainly not a lawyer, but to me it’s a miscarriage of justice to me, and a complete abuse of court process-narrated Bakang.”

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