Former Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS), Isaac Seabelo Kgosi has been added as the 18th accused person in the P250 million looting of the National Petroleum Fund (NPF).
Village Magistrate Goodwill Makofi on Thursday ruled in favour of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to have their charge sheet amended in order to include the former spy chief. This is the 10th time that the DPP has amended their charge sheet. With the prosecution having successfully amended the charge sheet, Kgosi is being accused of abuse of office, and corruption whilst employed as a public officer. The former spy chief is yet to take the plea.
Kgosi is charged alongside High Court Justice Zein Kebonang, his twin brother Sadique Kebonang, Kenneth Kerekang, Bakang Seretse, Khulaco Company, Mogomotsi Seretse, Kago Stimela, Kgori Capital and its directors Sharifa Noor and Alfonse Ndzinge. The Prosecution has filed an application to withdraw the charges laid against Kgori Capital directors, Sharifa Noor and Alfonse Ndzinge. Furthermore, Magistrate Makofi has recused himself from hearing the case as he revealed to have close relations with the 18th accused person, Isaac Kgosi.
WeekendPost investigations carried out last year revealed Kgosi had been interviewed by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) on the ongoing P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) scandal in which he requested the funds to procure firearms and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in 2017.
It emerged from the latest charges against the accused persons that he was given false information.â€¨â€¨In August 2017, he proposed that the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security releases an amount of P250 million for the design and construction of additional strategic fuel storages sites in a bid to further expand these sites to cater for other essential government organs.
After the ministry responded by acceding to the request and stipulated the funds within the NPF, Kgosi then later said procurement of petroleum facilities was no longer a priority, saying he would divert the funds to wildlife poaching, human and drug trafficking.â€¨â€¨Fresh information that this publication gathered was that the records states that the same equipment that he allegedly procured was also procured in 2010, though the directorate has only one set of equipment.
“The same goods that he procured last year were also procured sometime in 2010, which means the department has to have two sets of that equipment. But there is only one set at the DIS office,” said a source at the DCEC. “One other set has to be accounted for. Either the 2010 equipment was bought and taken elsewhere, or it was never bought at all though the money was taken out to purchase such.”
Other sources from the DIS stated that the directorate was facing a difficult time in terms of records because during Kgosi’s reign there was no properly constituted procurement committee.â€¨â€¨Bakang’s attorney, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae last year had always stated before the courts that there was no how his client could be charged with money laundering when the key players in the deal were free men.
He said, his client was mainly acting on the instructions given by Kgosi in all the transactions that he has done. This publication has it in good authority that investigations against Kgosi were still continuing during that period. “Though the DIS has paid the P118 million to NPF account, there are still many questions than answers concerning the said deal,” said the source.â€¨â€¨The investigations against Kgosi according to sources in the intelligence security, was to establish whether the equipment brought was worth P118 million.
“The other loophole is the date in which the contract was signed and the date in which money was allegedly paid to the Israeli company. He paid the money in August and later signed a contract when the scandal started in November last year,” said the source. The matter has been postponed to March 19th for status hearing.
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.