The much awaited arrival of the controversial former Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Chief, Colonel Isaac Kgosi finally occurred in the early morning of Tuesday this week, albeit without controversy as initially anticipated.
Kgosi appeared before the Broadhurst Regional Magistrate court for the first time in six months after being away in Malaysia where he was said to be seeking medical attention. Appearing before Magistrate Masilo Mathaka was Director of Public Prosecution Thato Dibeela, together with defense attorneys, Unoda Mack and Thabiso Tafila. The DPP moved an application to beseech the court to order the accused person’s passport to be seized thereby returning it to the Botswana Police Service (BPS).
Furthermore Dibeela moved an application that the court make an order to have Kgosi conduct a medical check-up by a government doctor through a report and an escort to the nearest government facility. Despite the heavy escort that was expected, prior to allegations that the accused was a terrorist, Kgosi was seen leaving in a government car with Detective Senior Superintendent Sergeant Marapo of Serious Crimes.
The report that came back from the government facility indicated that the accused has a permanent injury on his back. However Dibeela argued that the orthopedic surgeon formed an opinion on the basis of scan result reports which he might have had sight of not the tests conducted by Marina Hospital.
When arguing on whether or not Kgosi should be incarcerated Dibeela indicated that, “the doctor made a recommendation of the accused person. The doctor needed to have more time to examine the accused person, however he recommends what should happen and facilities and immunities that should be provided to the accused person, we can provide those whilst he is in prison and all these were recommended by a medical doctor.”
Tafila objected and argued that, ‘State had always had doubts the first time they were given a report from Malaysia which explained Kgosi’s condition, now an independent government doctor here in Botswana has proved it, my client is not well. There are certain conditions that were made by his doctor in Malaysia for him to travel here.” When stressing his argument, Tafila pointed out to the court that Kgosi had promised to be before the Magistrate on the 3rd and indeed he availed himself, disputing that the State cannot act surprised by Kgosi’s arrival.
“He is back now, what more do we want from him? He is a sick person, now it’s like we are being vengeful. Why are we in such a hurry to keep him in prison before he is convicted?” he said. In delivering his ruling, Magistrate Masilo ruled that Kgosi’s warrant of arrest be suspended, “Kgosi has bridged his conditions of bail and that is undeniable but there has been consistency that he is not well and was today confirmed by a government medical doctor. His incarceration will not be the most considerable thing to do. He presented himself in court today. Besides his charges are not that serious,” he said.
Kgosi’s bail conditions include surrendering his passport. Exclusive information reaching this publication is that the former DIS Spy Chief once again beat the DIS, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Botswana Police Services (BPS), Criminal Investigations Department (CID), and Interpol at their own game. None of the aforementioned departments where aware of when Kgosi would arrive in Botswana. Kgosi’s warrant of arrest was said to have been standing and all were said to have been on red alert to have him arrested as soon as he entered the country.
Despite the common knowledge that was availed to the court through his attorneys; Mack and Tafila, the prosecution denied any knowledge of Kgosi’s arrival. A close source to this publication revealed that Kgosi evaded all tight security boarder checks via South Africa into Botswana from Malaysia without any one from the Interpol, DIS, DPP, BPS, CID dumbfounded the country.
It is revealed that most of the security agents had thought Kgosi would travel via the airport, where most had been on alert and were prepared to arrest him. Kgosi’s passports point out that he arrived in Botswana Tuesday 3rd, the day he was to appear before court. However the State argued that there were some gaps in Kgosi’s travelling documents of which Kgosi rubbished through his attorney Tafila, stating that there are certain countries that do not make a stamp, however they only produce documents of which he said he could avail to the court.
Kgosi is also implicated in the controversial Welheminah Maswabi code name “Butterfly” case in which they are accused of working together on common grounds with the former President Ian Khama, to finance and terrorise the country. Butterfly is alleged to have transferred the sum of P29 million to former DIS Director General, Isaac Kgosi. The transfer occurred shortly after Kgosi had made remarks that he will, “topple this Government”, when he was arrested earlier this year at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport.
Butterfly was granted bail a week before Kgosi arrived from Malaysia. The nation was left astonished to learn that evidence against the accused was fabricated and false. On financing terrorism and being a terrorist is a charge that on itself which carries a life imprisonment sentence. The State prosecutors say this could be a motivating factor for one not to stand trial.
Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.
Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”
Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”
The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.
“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.
Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.
Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.
Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.
Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”
In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”
Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.
“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.
Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.
Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.
He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”
Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.
“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.
One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.
A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.
Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.
A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.”
Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.