The Extension Magistrate, Batho Kgerethwa has ruled in favour of the Sebina Brothers who had dragged Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) spy chief to court challenging the ex parte search warrant that was issued against them earlier last year.
The ex parte search warrant which was granted by the same court has been set aside and Magistrate Kgerethwa has ordered that the DIS return the documents and properties of the Sebina brothers, Tshepo and Kegone Sebina with immediate effect. The Magistrate Court through Sepego Legal Practice amongst others, had subpoenaed Magosi to appear before Kgerethwa late last month, to give evidence and produce to the court several documents that had been specified by the court.
The two brothers represented by criminal lawyer Unoda Mack of Mack Bahuma Attorneys and Mompati Sepego of Sepego Legal Practice, were accused of being involved in corrupt dealings with the former DIS spy chief, Colonel Isaac Kgosi. It is alleged that the brothers had been corruptly awarded tenders in about 52 companies in which 48 of these pointed to have the brothers as Directors/shareholders. In the process of DIS searching and raiding their premises, some documents and properties were seized in the process with allegations that they are linked to Kgosi.
In their head of arguments, Mack had stated that prior to the oral evidence given by Magosi on the 13th January 2019, in order to be granted the ex parte search warrant, they were not availed the opportunity to cross examine him hence they pursued the court to subpoena him. They had argued that they want the evidence given by Magosi to be expunged from court records as they believe it is insufficient.â€¨â€¨
They further pointed out that even after 12 months, the court still cannot give evidence on what offence had been committed by the accused. “What is the offence? In their court papers they say Kgosi threatened to topple the government, they talk about association. Is association wrong?” Mack further elucidated to the court that the evidence that was given by Magosi under oath does not fully explain how Kgosi influenced the tenders and how much money is claimed to have been transacted.â€¨â€¨
“In the court record it is evident that the court demanded to know how Kgosi influenced the tenders and they said Kgosi threatened to topple the government. What does a threat to topple the government have to do with the applicants?” Mack asked. The State however said that Magosi will not take the stand as the search warrant was lawfully obtained. “The guilty are always afraid, why won’t they take the stand? That is because they fear that they will be exposed,” Mack alleged.â€¨
The State had argued that according to the Intelligence Act, where the Director General believes on certain grounds that an offence has been committed they can approach the court to grant them an order of an ex parte search warrant. Mojadi brought the court to the attention of Section 3 of the Intelligence Act which states that the Director General with the powers vested upon him can search with or without a search warrant.â€¨â€¨When explaining the offence of threat to national security, Mojadi explained that investigations are still ongoing hence the applicant’s properties have been withheld.
They had further stated that there were tenders and transactions that were issued that needed to be investigated hence the State was not at a stage where the applicants could be charged yet. They explained that no offences had been proffered as of yetâ€¨â€¨Mack lashed out at the State’s argument citing to the court that there is no offense that has been established yet, hence the matter should be ended. “It is a requirement to state the offence under the Intelligence Act. The order we seek today is to release the properties of the applicants,” he said.
The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.
WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?
Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.
Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed. This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.
In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’ The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.
Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama).
Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.