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.
Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.
Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”
Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”
The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.
“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.
Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.
Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.
Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.
Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”
In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”
Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.
“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.
Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.
Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.
He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”
Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.
“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.
One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.
A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.
Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.
A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.”
Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.