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State appoints expelled SA Director of Prosecutions in NPF case

Fresh information reaching this publication is that the State has engaged South Africa veteran lawyer and expelled National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams in the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) case.

This was after Monday accused persons in the NPF case; Kenneth Kerekang, Bakang Seretse, the Kebonang’s twins Sadique and Zein, Kago Setimela and Mogomotsi Seretse appeared Chief Magistrate Masilo Mathake and the prosecution applied for postponement on the grounds that they want to engage “a senior counsel.”  It was revealed by sources that the “senior counsel” in this case is none other than former SA senior prosecutor Abrahams.

 After serving in the prosecution for years, Abrahams was fired as National Director of Public Prosecutions of South Africa in 2017. He left the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of South Africa under a cloud, after the Constitutional Court of South Africa found his appointment by former SA President Jacob Zuma was unconstitutional.  Abrahams’ downfall came after he was seen as an ally to Zuma who would be complicit in helping the former President dodge a myriad of corruption charges that followed him to his demise.

After his expulsion, Abrahams vowed that he will not be lost in the legal fraternity and his biggest task will be on Botswana chambers as the lead state lawyer in the NPF case. It is further alleged that Abrahams was second choice for the State as initially celebrated South African advocate Gerrie Nel preferred was preferred.  However, it is alleged that Nel rejected the state after his preliminary analysis revealed inconsistency and selectiveness on the NPF case.

Nel shot to stardom when he successfully prosecuted South African Paralympian Oscar Pistorius for murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in a rollercoaster marathon criminal case which started in 2014 and ended in 2016. Before the internationally publicized Pistorius case, Nel who is reported to be earning about P1.2 million a year put late former SA Police Commissioner Jackie Selibe in prison. It is revealed that the state had sought the services of a senior counsel as a way of upping the chance on the corruption case. 

Sources within the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) have revealed that the State has been frustrated in its efforts to crack the case and is under political pressure to get convictions on the accused.  The new administration of President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have earmarked the NPF as its ‘trophy’ in the fight against corruption, and has vowed to throw everything at the accused in the NPF.

“The DPP and Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) are trying hard to get a conviction on the current accused whilst wanting to protect some key government officials in the case.  And that is where the difficulty is. Furthermore, evidence and a series of events unfortunately negate the conspiracy that the State alleges.” Another plea brought before Chief Magistrate Mathake on Monday was an application by the prosecution to amend the charges in order to add more accused persons and charges.

After apologizing to the court and accused for delay on the case, Deputy Director of DPP Wesson Manchwe said a postponement would be for the long-term interest of the accused as some charges will be removed, and some added so that they can face one consolidated trial instead of many cases.

But, the magistrate would not entertain the application, following an opposition from the defence team. Senior Attorneys Unoda Mack and Kgosietsile Ngakaagae had urged the court to dismiss the application arguing that from their expectations they were there for the main business of the day, which was for further and better particularity.  They argued that the State seemed not to comprehend the extent of prejudice on the accused because they have become accustomed to delays and postponements.

It was then that Magistrate Masilo dismissed the State and ordered the parties to argue another leg of further particularities while still waiting to join more accused persons. “You cannot postpone the entire proceedings. Deal with what you have while still waiting to pursue another aspect.”

Further particularity

The defence submissions centered on the fact the charges were insufficient, incomplete, confusing and lacking on substance and truth. They further said the State was hiding behind the reason that they will provide evidence on trial.  “In criminal cases, you can’t ambush accused persons.  The Louis Nchindo versus the State set precedent on the obligations of the State to provide evidence before an accused,” Ngakaagae argued.

“But when it comes to providing evidence in the civil proceedings to grab assets, the State is quick to provide uncorroborated documents to make their case,” added Ngakaagae who further moved that the charges be quashed. In their response, the State was very limited apart from saying that the argument was wrongly before the magistrate, saying the matter will be committed to the High Court where the particularity aspects will be argued.

The ruling will be delivered on March 22.

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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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