Mokone says he was arrested for Tsimane’s disappearance
Sunday Standard editor, Outsa Mokone is fighting back, on Tuesday through his attorneys Bayford and Associates; he filed a draft order with the High Court to declare that his detention in September 2014 was unlawful.
Mokone’s brawl with the law followed the disappearance of senior reporter Edgar Tsimane after he authored an article published in the Sunday Standard alleging that the President, Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama was involved in a car accident while driving alone at night.
According to Mokone’s court papers, the decision to arrest him only came when he told the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Marage, that he does not know where Tsimane is. He further highlighted that Tsimane was not his charge as he is an adult of sound mind and thus found it difficult to understand how his arrest could have helped the Police in locating him.
The matter submitted before Judge Letsididi of the Lobatse High Court will establish and determine whether or not the Warrant of Arrest issued on the 2nd of September 2014 by the Chief Magistrate for the Gaborone Administrative District for the apprehension of Mokone was applied for and lawful.
It is also upon the court to determine and decide, in the event it is found that the Station Commander of Broadhurst Police Station had refused to allow the Applicant’s (Mokone) Attorneys access to him, timeously or at all, whilst he was in Police custody on the night of 8th September 2014 and morning of 9th September 2014 to consult him (Mokone) and obtain from him Power of Attorney and get him to depose to an affidavit to enable them to move an urgent application before the High Court on the night of 8th September 2014.
The court also has to decide whether such refusal or delay in granting the Applicant’s attorney permission to him constituted an infringement of the Applicant’s right to legal representation as enshrined under Section 10 of the Constitution of Botswana and access the High Court as it is entitled to in terms of Section 10 as read with Section 95 of the Constitution of Botswana.
Botswana Police Commissioner, Mr. Keabetswe Makgophe, in his response to Mokone’s accusations, through an affidavit said, “there was no denial, had the applicant’s Commissioner of Oath not been impatient, his affidavit would have been commissioned.”
“I am verily advised that it would have been very improbable to find the Honorable Judge still waiting at Lobatse after midnight for a possible urgent application whose documents/papers had not been properly registered and or served on the other party. Arguments will be made by my (Makgophe) attorneys that the detention (of Mokone) was necessary, justified and not unlawful.”
The dispute started in August 2014 when Sunday Standard newspaper edited by Outsa Mokone published a story that President Khama got involved in a car accident while driving alone at night.
Before publishing the article Mokone said he enquired about the credibility and reliability of the source but Tsimane stood by the story insisting that he contacted and for the record noted Dr. Jeff Ramsay’s comments as the President’s Spokesperson. Due to the fact that Tsimane is a senior reporter and the experience he had, Mokone said he also stood by the article.
The Sunday Standard senior reporter later disappeared and sought asylum in South Africa following an alleged tip – off by his elder brother, Clement Tsimane, a Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DISS) agent that his life was in danger following a series of offensive stories to those in power.
According to the government’s response to the article at the time of the alleged accident, the president was neither the driver nor a passenger of the involved vehicles in the accident.
It was also alleged by the government and Makgophe in his court filing that the collision took place between a Toyota Land Cruiser Prado SUV not a black Range Rover as alleged by the paper and a private Ford Ranger not a Jeep on the A1 at Dibete.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.