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NPF case remains stuck at magistrate court

The much anticipated National Petroleum case (NPF) that has been before the magistrate courts for two and a half years now, appears to be stagnant.

This week, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions swiftly amended their charge which was read to the accused persons Bakang Seretse, Kenneth Kerekang, Member of Parliament (MP) for Lobatse and former Minister of Mineral, Resources, Green Technology, Energy and Security; Sadique Kebonang, his twin brother High Court Justice Zein Kebonang, Mogomotsi Seretse, Kago Stimela, Khulaco (Pty) Ltd, and Basis Points Capital, are charged with 126 counts of money laundering.

This is the ninth time the charge sheet has been amended since the case was brought before the Broadhurst Magistrate Court in 2017, before Magistrate Masilo Mathaka. The counts against the accused began at 65 and are now at 126 counts of money laundering. Nonetheless, the case has been taken over by Magistrate Goodwill Makofi at the Village Magistrate Court.

However, the defense attorneys, Unoda Mack, Kgosi Ngakaagae and Bogopa Manewe, told the court that ever since the case was brought before court the state has been going back and forth with the charge sheet. They further emphasized to the court none of their clients understands neither of the charges they are faced with therefore requesting an application for further particulars. “As far as I am concerned we shouldn’t be here. We do not agree with the charge sheet. 

With no charge sheet there cannot be any committal,” alleged Unoda Mack

Agitated Mack could be heard in a dispute with Prosecutor Mandu during the court adjournment stressing that the DPP should admit that they do not have a case therefore quash the charges. “It’s been two years four months now and you are still amending your charge sheet, admit it you do not have sufficient evidence against our clients, why not quash the charges and revise your investigations?”

Mandu begged to differ, telling the court that he does not see any reason for the Magistrate to delay because he has served them with all requirements for committal. “I cannot blindly commit the matter to the High Court. Why do you want me to make committal before arguments? Wait for the arguments, let us follow process,” responded Magistrate Makofi.

The State has since demanded for the court to commit the matter to the High Court. Incidentally, last month the case was committed to the High Court by Magistrate Masilo who was of the view that the case had dragged for too long and it was about time that it be given the seriousness it deserves.

A week later, the DPP brought before the court a new charge sheet. According to Mack, the new charge sheet was dated 16th August, before committal was made on 21st August, emphasizing that the state knew about the amended charge sheet but were reluctant to bring it before court questioning vigorously the DPP’s process.

Ngaakagae highlighted that they will file a memorandum count-by-count, “we have been down this road before and we will go through it again, count-by-count.” In conclusion the Magistrate Makofi requested that both parties submit answers to the question: “What is committal to an accused person, section 63 (which explains reading of the charge sheet before committal), what is the significance of dividing provisions of the law and classifying in the present situation?” The DPP and the defense attorneys are to file their submissions on October 31st  followed by a ruling on December 4th 2019. 

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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