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SA Banks rubbish state evidence in “Butterfly” case

South African banks, Nedbank and Absa, have vehemently criticized state evidence against one DIS agent code named “Butterfly” or Welheminah Maswabi in a case in which she is alleged to be responsible for P4.2 billion that went missing at the Bank of Botswana.

The case also implicates former President Ian Khama and former DIS director general Isaac kgosi. Khama has since disposed an affidavit in support of Maswabi rubbishing the State case and registering a ‘come get me’ attitude. Welheminah Maswabi was earlier last month arrested on three counts; financing terrorism (on account of claims that she transferred from an offshore account the sum of P29 million to former DIS spy Chief Isaac Kgosi, in January this year); possession of different passports and; falsifying her names to Lorato Hilton.

Upon her arrest, Maswabi made an application with the Gaborone High Court for bail which was denied without doubt, as the State found her a possible flight risk.  The State brought laden evidence against the accused after the court was told that the accused had an enormous sum of P360 million in her different personal accounts. Maswabi- in her personal capacity was also allegedly accused as one of the signatories of Blue Files (PTY) Ltd.’s Royal Bank of Scotland, a bank account held in S.A facilitated the commission of an act of terrorism by transferring an amount of 950000. 00 American Dollars to Isaac Seabelo Kgosi, who earlier this year upon his arrest threatened to commit acts of terror against Botswana.

The State brought before courts bank statements that showed how the money was transferred from on offshore account to another. They further sought with the court to be given time to seek legal assistance for admissible evidence which will be used during trial.
This publication is in possession of affidavits from the alleged banks denying any knowledge or trace of the alleged bank accounts.

In their opposing affidavit, Nedbank states that “the opposing affidavit references accounts in the names of Blue Files (Pty) Ltd and Fire Flies (Pty) Ltd, are non-existent accounts. After conducting a search on our Nedbank systems, we have been unable to find any accounts in those names, nor any accounts with the mentioned account numbers.”  Absa Bank also denied having any record of any account with designated account numbers nor account names. They further inquired that the document obtained by the State as evidence does not appear as Absa generated document.

One of the investigators engaged by Maswabi’s legal representatives, Johaan Minaar has also revealed in a report possessed by this publication that the emails used by the State as evidence against the accused are also fraudulent, based on the vast differences between the attached email and those which are relied upon by the High Court. The report alleged that the messages attached as evidence by the State appear to be fraudulent, as they could very easily have been produced by a word processor such as Microsoft Word, in order to provide veneer of authenticity to those emails which are relied on in the High Court.

The investigation company pointed out that unless the original electronic version of the email messages set out as annexures to the High Court application can be produced and authenticated, the annexures have no evidentiary values presented as they are presented to the relevant Tribunal in isolation as the original source data/document is not available for verification, further scrutiny and examination.

Upon establishing whether or not Royal Bank Scotland, Blue Files Inc. and Fire Flies were South African registered companies, the investigating team could not positively verify the entities. They however stated that they conducted searches on two public registries, namely the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission in South Africa and Dun & Bradstreet (a similar registry in Botswana) and the search strings submitted to conduct such queries were as follows; Royal Bank, Blue File and Fire File.

Khama Labels claims against Maswabi as Nonsensical

Former President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama, being one of those implicated in the matter, also testified against the State labelling the allegations as false, fictitious and clearly nonsensical. In his written affidavit he denies ever instructing the Bank of Botswana whilst serving as the President of Botswana, to open any special unit accounts. He further denied any knowledge of instruction by Kgosi instructing Bank of Botswana to open any account.

“I expect in any banking environment or in any financial institution, instructions of the nature alleged by Hubona must necessarily be recorded for, among many reasons, audit evidence.  It would therefore be very easy for the State to obtain evidence of such instruction and disclose it to the court.” Khama warned the Court in his affidavit-that in support of which application he is advised- that his affidavit will be used, the court should know that Mr. Jako Hubona’s conduct of fabricating evidence is actually his personality and character trait.

Hubona has allegedly according to Khama once fabricated evidence by adding extrinsic content to a witness’s sworn statement under a criminal case that was before the Regional Magistrate for the Gaborone Magisterial Region. Jako Hubona is the investigating officer at the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) in the matter. Maswabi will once again appear before court on the 27th of November 2019.

SA businessman responds – INK CJ

Meanwhile a South African businessman also implicated in the alleged scam Kgomotso Prince Mokgatlha, of Bassonia Estate in Johannesburg, is accused [in an affidavit filed by the state in the prosecution of intelligence operative, Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi] of partnering with Kgosi in a company that allegedly received multi million dollars from Botswana.

Mokgatlha said he is a sole signatory of Kgetha Pty Ltd and that he has never met Kgosi or Maswabi. Prosecutors however argue in court papers that Kgosi became a signatory of Kgetha on the 12th of February 2019 with the help of a banker known as Mpule Konopi at Standard Bank. Prosecutors further say Kgetha’s account No. 200904299 was credited with $48 million on the 21st of February 2019.  In September 2019 Directorate of Public Prosecution interviewed Mokgatlha in South Africa.

“They were clueless. First they gave me a wrong account number,” he says, arguing further that there is no how that amount of money could have been cleared to his account without the South African Reserve Bank knowing about it.  “My account does not have CFC (Customer Foreign Currency) account. Legally all this will not suffice. I found your guys wanting.” He also took the matter into his hands.  “I also went to inquire at Forex (Foreign Exchange department at Standard Bank) about the alleged money. They said I don’t have $48 million. There is nowhere Kgosi could have signed in my account.”

Just to be on the safe side, he will never set foot in Botswana even if his name could be cleared. “Your country is nothing but a headache. I have declared myself persona non grata. He finds the current leadership immature and vindictive.  “I was born in 1966, but I think I am more mature than your country.” The state cites internal documents from Bank of Botswana that detail 60 transactions between 2008 and 2019 involving more than 12 offshore accounts.


The documents allegedly show that Khama and Kgosi funneled more than $400-million to countries including Indonesia, South Africa, Britain, Scotland, the United States and Hong Kong with Maswabi’s help. The court papers allege that in June 2008, Khama instructed Botswana’s central bank to open three secret accounts and deposited in excess of P908-million (US$90 million) in one, P700 000 000.00 ($70-million) in the second, and P592 million ($60 million) in the third. The Bank of Botswana Act does not permit a president to interfere with business of the reserve bank. (Ink Centre for Investigative Journalism)

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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