In an unexpected turn of events former spy Chief Col Isaac Kgosi is now enjoying the bargaining power as the State is begging him not to proceed with his intended lawsuit that has the potential to grossly embarrass government.
WeekendPost has established that Kgosi is on a mission to take the State to the cleaners after suffering humiliation at the hands of the Government on several occasions, amongst which was his unceremonious removal from office, his arrest at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKI), as well as being accused of financing terrorism. Kgosi, together with President Lt Gen Khama were accused or stand accused of having instructed Bank of Botswana, to open three offshore accounts, of which P100 billion was looted via the bank accounts.
Information gathered by this publication indicates that Kgosi has partnered with all those who were or are implicated in the matter; Khama, South African business woman Bridgette Motsepe, ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank to sue the Botswana Government. In desperate attempts to stop Kgosi and clean Brig Peter Magosi’s mess, it is alleged that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has assigned a team led by former army Commander and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee member, Lt Gen Tebogo Masire to lure Kgosi in for an out of court settlement.
The proposed deal is believed to be involving a huge amount of money. Kgosi has however declined to discuss matter relating to the looming lawsuit stating that, “it is too soon to discuss that case.” Sources close to this publication have revealed that Kgosi is not bending to the team’s request and is determined to clear his name. WeekendPost has established that Kgosi feels that the State has put him through a lot, and damaged his reputation in the process.
It is alleged that cases lodged against Kgosi are outlandish as the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) together with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) seem not to have tangible evidence against him. Towards the end of 2019, one Welheminah Maswabi code name ‘Butterfly’, a DIS agent was charged with financing terrorism, possession of unexplained property and false declaration of passports.
She was accused of transferring P29 million to the former spy chief shortly after he made remarks that he would topple the government. Prior to Maswabi’s case, Kgosi was arrested in what was dubbed as the “Hollywood style” by the current Director General, Magosi, at Sir Seretse Khama International airport (SSKI) after his arrival from a trip to Asia and the Middle East.
It was alleged that Kgosi was arrested in connection with alleged tax evasion. It was after his arrest that the DIS, Botswana Police Service (BPS) and Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) conducted searches at Kgosi’s house at Phakalane Estates. In Maswabi’s case, through her attorneys Uyapo Ndadi and Unoda Mack, managed to discover some damning evidence against the State.
It turned out after a tussle in court that one investigating officer at the DCEC, Jack Hubona together with Magosi were involved in fabricating and manufacturing evidence to frame Maswabi and those who were implicated in the matter, Kgosi being amongst them. In the case against ‘Butterfly’, which implicated Kgosi and other prominent persons, Khama then disposed an affidavit in support of Maswabi rubbishing the State’s case and registering a “come get me” attitude.
South African banks, Nedbank and Absa, have also vehemently criticised the State’s evidence against Maswabi, in a case where she is alleged to be responsible for P4.2 billion that went missing at Bank of Botswana. The State had also brought before court 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.â€¨â€¨The State had also brought before courts bank statements that showed how the money was transferred from on offshore account to another.
They further sought the court to be given time to seek legal assistance for admissible evidence which will be used during trial.â€¨This publication is in possession of affidavits from the alleged banks denying any knowledge or trace of the alleged bank accounts.â€¨â€¨In their opposing affidavit, Nedbank stated 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.â€¨ One of the investigators who had been engaged by Maswabi’s legal representatives, Johaan Minaar, 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 by the High Court.â€¨â€¨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.â€¨â€¨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. In an interview with this publication Kgosi’s lawyer, Mack explained that Kgosi has not been approached yet concerning the matter. He stated that they have met a couple of times but this specific matter had not been raised.
“But anything is possible, any possible human being would understand that what the State did to Kgosi and even the former President [Ian Khama] was inhumane,” Mack said. “If he was to file a lawsuit it would be totally understandable. All the DPP keeps on saying before courts is investigations are ongoing. What investigations? To do what?” â€¨
A heartfelt message of good wishes from Minister Mmusi Kgafela to his self-exiled brother and Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgafela Kgafela II, this week urged the latter to consider calls for his return to Botswana to visit his tribe and family.
“On behalf of our father’s people, your people, I wish to inform you that Bakgatla are thinking of you, and they miss you dearly. They request that you should find time to visit them. Please come to Botswana to spend some time with them, to see and greet them,” said Mmusi as part of his 50 years birthday message to Kgafela Kgafela II, who has vowed never to set foot in Botswana.
However, Mmusi Kgafela did not shed light on how his brother will deal with the arrest warrant, which triggers once he sets foot in Botswana.
The Bakgatla Kgosikgolo, who went on a self-imposed exile in 2012 to South Africa, faces a decade-old-plus warrant of arrest issued by the Village magistrate court after his non-appearance in Court over criminal charges relating to flogging of his subjects. Kgafela described the charges as ‘political persecution’ before jetting out to his second home in South Africa, Moruleng, where he is also a Chief.
Asked over his views on the complications around the warrant of arrest, Mmusi, a lawyer by training, said, “what people need to understand is that a warrant of arrest is not a prison sentence.”
He continued: “There is a need for reconciliation and discussions to put all these issues behind us. We need to move on. What I have also realized is that the state is not keen on pursuing the matter as they have not sought his extradition,” he said.
In 2017, the then Minister of Defence, Justice, and Security, Shaw Kgathi, told Parliament that the arrest warrant issued against Bakgatla Kgosi-kgolo is still valid.
“….because a Court order once issued remains valid and enforceable unless it is rescinded by the Court that issued it, in this case being Village Magistrate Court. It may also be revoked by a higher court being the High Court or the Court of Appeal,” Kgathi said.
As things stand, the Government will arrest Bakgatla Kgosi Kgafela II if he crosses over to Botswana, Parliament heard.
Kgathi responded to a question by the then Mochudi West Member of Parliament, Gilbert Mangole, who wanted to know if the arrest warrant imposed on Kgafela was still valid. Further, he wanted clarity on what it would take for the Government to trigger the removal of the warrant to enable Kgosi to visit his tribe in Botswana if he so wishes.
Could Mmusi be under pressure to facilitate Kgafela’s return?
Although Mmusi denies the claim, some royal sources opine that he (Mmusi) is under pressure to help President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi fulfill his 2019 electoral campaign pledge to the tribe. The President had pledged that he would “not rest until their chief, Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela II, is back home.”
Mmusi, however, says Masisi has not personally engaged him on Kgafela.
Kgafela’s former lawyer, Advocate Sydney Pilane, has in the past told this publication that he suspects that as the leader of the BDP, President Masisi hopes that if he brings Kgosi Kgafela back, BaKgatla may be grateful to the BDP, and benefits might accrue in consequence.
While Mmusi says the matter will need to be discussed and dealt with, private attorney Kgosiitsile Ngakaagae who was prosecuting Kgafela, warned that there is nothing to address or facilitate.
“There is no need for political intervention. Kgosi Kgafela is officially a fugitive from Justice. It’s for the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to issue a nolle prosequi (we shall no longer prosecute) to enable his return. Constitutionally the DPP cannot be dictated to by politicians. The matter is beyond the President unless he violates the DPP’s constitutional mandate,” charged Ngakaagae.
“An arrest is intended to bring someone to Court. Secondly, a party who has become aware that a warrant has been issued against them can apply to Court before it is implemented for it to be discharged.”
The only option for the state currently, which the state is reluctant to pursue, is to drop the charges and withdraw the warrant of arrest or decide on a deliberate non-enforcement of the warrant, according to lawyers who spoke to this publication.
In South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa recently told his parliament that the deployment of his army to Mozambique had cost close to a billion rand, with the exact figure placed at R984,368, 057. On the other hand, the Botswana government is yet to say a word on their budget concerning the deployment.
In his National Assembly report tabled last week Tuesday, Ramaphosa said:
“This serves to inform the National Assembly that I have authorized the employment of 1,495 members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for service in fulfillment of an international obligation towards SADC, to assist Mozambique combat acts of terrorism and violent extremists in the Caba Delgado province. This deployment had cost close to a billion rand, with the exact figure placed at R984,368,057.”
The soldiers, he said, are expected to remain there for the next three months.
Botswana, however, is yet to publicize its expenditure. Asked by this publication over why they have not and whether they will, the Minister of Defence, Justice, and Security, Kagiso Mmusi, said they would when the time is right.
“As you may be aware, nobody planned for this. It was not budgeted for. We had to take our BDF resources to Mozambique, and we are still doing our calculations. We also need to replace what we took from the BDF to Mozambique,” he said.
This week, President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi revealed that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Botswana government would share the sustainment of the Mozambique military combat deployment. SADC has given Botswana its share to use according to its needs.
The costs in such deployments are typically categorized into three parts-boots on the ground or handling the system, equipment, and operational sustenance logistics.
It is unknown how much combat pay, danger pay, or sustenance allowance the soldiers will get upon return. However, President Masisi has assured the soldiers that they will get their money.
Masisi has said deployment comes when the country is faced with economic challenges that have been exacerbated to a great extent by the COVID-19 Pandemic, which is inflicting enormous health, financial, and social damage to all nations.
Botswana has sent 296 soldiers who left on Monday to Mozambique to join the SADC standby force.
Parliament fumes over being snubbed
In the 1994 Lesotho mission, the Botswana Parliament was engaged after the soldiers were long deployed. A repeat of history this week saw members of parliament grilling the executive over snubbing parliament and keeping it in the dark about the Mozambique military deployment.
Zimbabwe pledges 304 soldiers
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe has pledged 304 soldiers to the SADC Standby Force Mission in Mozambique to train an infantry battalion-size unit at a time, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri has said.
In a statement to journalists, Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said the contingent would consist of 303 instructors and one specialist officer to coordinate the SADC Force Headquarters in Maputo.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said that in terms of Section 214 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, Parliament would be informed accordingly.
During the Extraordinary Summit of the 16-member regional bloc held in Maputo, Mozambique, last month, member states resolved to deploy a force to help Mozambique contain insurgency in its northern provinces where terrorists have left a trail of destruction that also threatens regional peace.
Former director general of the Directorate of Intelligence Service, Isaac Kgosi has been awarded doctorate in International and Diplomatic Studies by a Slovenian institution-New University after successfully defending his doctoral dissertation last year.
The institution‘s website shows that in February 2020 Kgosi defended his dissertation titled ‘Southern African Development Community [SADC] Diplomatic Conflict Management Response for Enhancing Human Security: The Case of Mozambique.’
“Faculty of government and European Studies hereby certifies that Seabelo Isaac Kgosi born in Francistown, on 15th December 1958 completed all obligations of the international and Diplomatic Studies doctoral programme on March 22,2021. On these grounds the Faculty of Government and European Studies is conferring upon him the scientific title of Doctor of Science in International and Diplomatic Studies, abbr:PhD,” reads the institution’s conferment certificate dated O6 July 2021.
Kgosi’s thesis was a study of SADC’s mediation and diplomacy in the Mozambican conflict that is mainly between the ruling Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) government and forces of the National Resistance (Renamo) that was once mediated by the late former president Sir Ketumile Masire in 2016 when it re-emerged after a revival by Renamo in 2012, driven by several grievances including allegations of economic marginalisation, regional economic imbalances and breach of the 1992 Rome General Peace Accords which had ended the post-independence civil war fought from 1977 to 1992. The escalation of conflict in Mozambique in early 2016 resulted in displacement of citizens in affected areas whilst thousands of people crossed the borders into Malawi and eastern Zimbabwe as refugees.
Efforts to search for and locate the document were unsuccessful at the time of going for press.
Kgosi’s curriculum vitae suggests that he has a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters in Intelligence and Security obtained from Brunel University, a public research university located in Uxbridge, West London, United Kingdom. The latter qualification was obtained in 2007.
It is not yet known on whether Kgosi will use his qualifications to seek employment locally or internationally, or will decide to open a consultancy firm in line with his experience and academic achievements once the dust surrounding him goes way.
The former spy chief is currently fighting to clear his name in a series of cases against the state, which accuses him of owing the tax man, capturing images of the intelligence agents, as well as their identity between the 18th and 25th February 2019 as well as the identity cards of the officers engaged in a covert operation of the DIS. He is also accused of instructing Bank of Botswana (BoB) to open three bank accounts that were used to loot public funds amounting to over P100 billion together with former president Lt Gen Ian Khama.
Kgosi has countered on all the cases demanding the evidence which links him to the crimes levelled against him, all of which the state is currently struggling to submit before the courts. The state has lost and appealed the photographs case while the P100 billion case has been described as a big lie by various institutions.