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.
A heartfelt message of good wishes from Minister Mmusi Kgafela to his self-exiled brother and Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgafela Kgafela II, this week urged the latter to consider calls for his return to Botswana to visit his tribe and family.
“On behalf of our father’s people, your people, I wish to inform you that Bakgatla are thinking of you, and they miss you dearly. They request that you should find time to visit them. Please come to Botswana to spend some time with them, to see and greet them,” said Mmusi as part of his 50 years birthday message to Kgafela Kgafela II, who has vowed never to set foot in Botswana.
However, Mmusi Kgafela did not shed light on how his brother will deal with the arrest warrant, which triggers once he sets foot in Botswana.
The Bakgatla Kgosikgolo, who went on a self-imposed exile in 2012 to South Africa, faces a decade-old-plus warrant of arrest issued by the Village magistrate court after his non-appearance in Court over criminal charges relating to flogging of his subjects. Kgafela described the charges as ‘political persecution’ before jetting out to his second home in South Africa, Moruleng, where he is also a Chief.
Asked over his views on the complications around the warrant of arrest, Mmusi, a lawyer by training, said, “what people need to understand is that a warrant of arrest is not a prison sentence.”
He continued: “There is a need for reconciliation and discussions to put all these issues behind us. We need to move on. What I have also realized is that the state is not keen on pursuing the matter as they have not sought his extradition,” he said.
In 2017, the then Minister of Defence, Justice, and Security, Shaw Kgathi, told Parliament that the arrest warrant issued against Bakgatla Kgosi-kgolo is still valid.
“….because a Court order once issued remains valid and enforceable unless it is rescinded by the Court that issued it, in this case being Village Magistrate Court. It may also be revoked by a higher court being the High Court or the Court of Appeal,” Kgathi said.
As things stand, the Government will arrest Bakgatla Kgosi Kgafela II if he crosses over to Botswana, Parliament heard.
Kgathi responded to a question by the then Mochudi West Member of Parliament, Gilbert Mangole, who wanted to know if the arrest warrant imposed on Kgafela was still valid. Further, he wanted clarity on what it would take for the Government to trigger the removal of the warrant to enable Kgosi to visit his tribe in Botswana if he so wishes.
Could Mmusi be under pressure to facilitate Kgafela’s return?
Although Mmusi denies the claim, some royal sources opine that he (Mmusi) is under pressure to help President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi fulfill his 2019 electoral campaign pledge to the tribe. The President had pledged that he would “not rest until their chief, Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela II, is back home.”
Mmusi, however, says Masisi has not personally engaged him on Kgafela.
Kgafela’s former lawyer, Advocate Sydney Pilane, has in the past told this publication that he suspects that as the leader of the BDP, President Masisi hopes that if he brings Kgosi Kgafela back, BaKgatla may be grateful to the BDP, and benefits might accrue in consequence.
While Mmusi says the matter will need to be discussed and dealt with, private attorney Kgosiitsile Ngakaagae who was prosecuting Kgafela, warned that there is nothing to address or facilitate.
“There is no need for political intervention. Kgosi Kgafela is officially a fugitive from Justice. It’s for the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to issue a nolle prosequi (we shall no longer prosecute) to enable his return. Constitutionally the DPP cannot be dictated to by politicians. The matter is beyond the President unless he violates the DPP’s constitutional mandate,” charged Ngakaagae.
“An arrest is intended to bring someone to Court. Secondly, a party who has become aware that a warrant has been issued against them can apply to Court before it is implemented for it to be discharged.”
The only option for the state currently, which the state is reluctant to pursue, is to drop the charges and withdraw the warrant of arrest or decide on a deliberate non-enforcement of the warrant, according to lawyers who spoke to this publication.
In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently told his parliament that the deployment of his army to Mozambique had cost close to a billion rand, with the exact figure placed at R984,368, 057. On the other hand, the Botswana government is yet to say a word on their budget concerning the deployment.
In his National Assembly report tabled last week Tuesday, Ramaphosa said:
“This serves to inform the National Assembly that I have authorized the employment of 1,495 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for service in fulfillment of an international obligation towards SADC, to assist Mozambique combat acts of terrorism and violent extremists in the Caba Delgado province. This deployment had cost close to a billion rand, with the exact figure placed at R984,368,057.”
The soldiers, he said, are expected to remain there for the next three months.
Botswana, however, is yet to publicize its expenditure. Asked by this publication over why they have not and whether they will, the Minister of Defence, Justice, and Security, Kagiso Mmusi, said they would when the time is right.
“As you may be aware, nobody planned for this. It was not budgeted for. We had to take our BDF resources to Mozambique, and we are still doing our calculations. We also need to replace what we took from the BDF to Mozambique,” he said.
This week, President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi revealed that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Botswana government would share the sustainment of the Mozambique military combat deployment. SADC has given Botswana its share to use according to its needs.
The costs in such deployments are typically categorized into three parts-boots on the ground or handling the system, equipment, and operational sustenance logistics.
It is unknown how much combat pay, danger pay, or sustenance allowance the soldiers will get upon return. However, President Masisi has assured the soldiers that they will get their money.
Masisi has said deployment comes when the country is faced with economic challenges that have been exacerbated to a great extent by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which is inflicting enormous health, financial, and social damage to all nations.
Botswana has sent 296 soldiers who left on Monday to Mozambique to join the SADC standby force.
Parliament fumes over being snubbed
In the 1994 Lesotho mission, the Botswana Parliament was engaged after the soldiers were long deployed. A repeat of history this week saw members of parliament grilling the executive over snubbing parliament and keeping it in the dark about the Mozambique military deployment.
Zimbabwe pledges 304 soldiers
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has pledged 304 soldiers to the SADC Standby Force Mission in Mozambique to train an infantry battalion-size unit at a time, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has said.
In a statement to journalists, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the contingent would consist of 303 instructors and one specialist officer to coordinate the SADC Force Headquarters in Maputo.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said that in terms of Section 214 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Parliament would be informed accordingly.
During the Extraordinary Summit of the 16-member regional bloc held in Maputo, Mozambique, last month, member states resolved to deploy a force to help Mozambique contain insurgency in its northern provinces where terrorists have left a trail of destruction that also threatens regional peace.
Former director general of the Directorate of Intelligence Service, Isaac Kgosi has been awarded doctorate in International and Diplomatic Studies by a Slovenian institution-New University after successfully defending his doctoral dissertation last year.
The institution‘s website shows that in February 2020 Kgosi defended his dissertation titled ‘Southern African Development Community [SADC] Diplomatic Conflict Management Response for Enhancing Human Security: The Case of Mozambique.’
“Faculty of government and European Studies hereby certifies that Seabelo Isaac Kgosi born in Francistown, on 15th December 1958 completed all obligations of the international and Diplomatic Studies doctoral programme on March 22,2021. On these grounds the Faculty of Government and European Studies is conferring upon him the scientific title of Doctor of Science in International and Diplomatic Studies, abbr:PhD,” reads the institution’s conferment certificate dated O6 July 2021.
Kgosi’s thesis was a study of SADC’s mediation and diplomacy in the Mozambican conflict that is mainly between the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) government and forces of the National Resistance (Renamo) that was once mediated by the late former president Sir Ketumile Masire in 2016 when it re-emerged after a revival by Renamo in 2012, driven by several grievances including allegations of economic marginalisation, regional economic imbalances and breach of the 1992 Rome General Peace Accords which had ended the post-independence civil war fought from 1977 to 1992. The escalation of conflict in Mozambique in early 2016 resulted in displacement of citizens in affected areas whilst thousands of people crossed the borders into Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe as refugees.
Efforts to search for and locate the document were unsuccessful at the time of going for press.
Kgosi’s curriculum vitae suggests that he has a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Intelligence and Security obtained from Brunel University, a public research university located in Uxbridge, West London, United Kingdom. The latter qualification was obtained in 2007.
It is not yet known on whether Kgosi will use his qualifications to seek employment locally or internationally, or will decide to open a consultancy firm in line with his experience and academic achievements once the dust surrounding him goes way.
The former spy chief is currently fighting to clear his name in a series of cases against the state, which accuses him of owing the tax man, capturing images of the intelligence agents, as well as their identity between the 18th and 25th February 2019 as well as the identity cards of the officers engaged in a covert operation of the DIS. He is also accused of instructing Bank of Botswana (BoB) to open three bank accounts that were used to loot public funds amounting to over P100 billion together with former president Lt Gen Ian Khama.
Kgosi has countered on all the cases demanding the evidence which links him to the crimes levelled against him, all of which the state is currently struggling to submit before the courts. The state has lost and appealed the photographs case while the P100 billion case has been described as a big lie by various institutions.