The Directorate on Public Prosecution (DPP) has this week made an application before the Broadhurst Magistrate court to have the suspension of Isaac Kgosi’s warrant of arrest lifted.
The warrant which was suspended end of July after his lawyers brought before the court that Kgosi was not a fugitive and was in Malaysia seeking medical attention. The State accused Kgosi of bridging his bail conditions in a case in which he is being accused for disclosing and exposing names of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agents to a local newspaper. In their submissions the DPP pointed out that Kgosi’s exit to Malaysia was not an emergency therefore his attorneys should not take it as if he was not aware he was going to go Malaysia.
“Kgosi did not report himself to the police in the month of June. The applicant did not comply with the court order. We are not even sure whether or not his condition was an emergency,” DPP Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Thato Dibeela said. Dibeela said that Kgosi willingly fully discharged the court of law stating that Kgosi’s attorneys Unoda Mack should have moved his application to travel to seek medical attention.
“The accused had a choice to choose whether or not to inform the court. His attorneys are well aware of that. This person is said to be ill but could drive from Botswana to South Africa to board a flight.” She emphasized that according to them Kgosi remains a fugitive.
She narrated that according to the information they have, Kgosi entered Malaysia on the 1st of June, left and later went back. She stressed Kgosi’s travel documents may not be authentic therefore they need to verify them.
“We need time to verify these dates, the documents we were given are not convincing enough therefore we seek to lift the suspension of the warrant of arrest.” Dibeela said that it did not make sense that Kgosi left the country without the court’s knowledge but later comes back to seek its indulgence on suspending his arrest. “The accused seeks the indulgence of the courts of Botswana though he remains in Malaysia,” she said. In his argument Unoda Mack argued that Kgosi did inform the DPP that he will not be able to come back to report.
“Where is the evidence that Kgosi ran away? Kgosi is not a fugitive from justice he is in Malaysia and is sick.”
Mack stressed that it was not surprising for the state to move such an application because the state never believed that Kgosi is sick. “Kgosi will be back for trial,” Mack stressed. He pleaded with the court that to set aside the warrant of arrest considering that the court has to be compassionate. “Kgosi did not have to ask for permission, he went there for medical checkup upon arrival his doctor informed of how serious his condition was therefore he needed to stay,” he said.
Mack added that communications on Kgosi’s condition have been consistent since day one, stressing that it was evident that the state did not trust Kgosi. “We have been communicating with the DPP on everything, these documents are valid there is nothing to verify,” he added.
A close source to this publication revealed that this is only the beginning for Kgosi’s trouble as upon his arrival which is expected to be in October after general elections, the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) will slap him with another tax evasion charge of P50 million in addition to the 10 million pula he was charged with in July 2019. The ruling whether or not to lift the suspension of the arrest warrant will be delivered on the 27th August 2019.
Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.
“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”
The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.
“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”
According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.
In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.
“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.
“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.
However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”
Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.
“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.
Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.
Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.
State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.
The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.
Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.
“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.
However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.
Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.
“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.
While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.
He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.
According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.
“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.
Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.
“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.
He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.
“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.
He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.
Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.
Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month