Former Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) spy chief Isaac Kgosi has received a major boost in a case in which he is facing charges of disclosing the identity of DIS agents to a local newspaper and obstructing them in their course of duty.
Appearing before Broadhurst Magistrate Linah Mokibe-Oahile on Tuesday, Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Thato Dibeela informed the court that the two cell phones and other gadgets that were seized from the accused have since been returned to him. She further requested that the court set trial dates of which defence attorney Unoda Mack objected, demanding that the prosecution provide them with the alleged pictures. The court ordered that the prosecution should have responded in seven days.
Sources within the DIS have developed the view that the matter is likely to die soon. “This is one of those cases that were rushed to court without tangible evidence. The prosecution might as well withdraw the matter, it is going nowhere fast,” a source said. This is one amongst the many cases initiated by the DIS that have since failed before the courts due to lack of evidence. Sources reveal that these developments raise an eyebrow as they have the possibility of tarnishing the image of the DIS institution which is supposed to be given the utmost respect.
Kgosi’s case is not peculiar, as compared to other cases which involve high profile persons that have been labelled as half-baked. Towards the end of 2019, this publication reported that attorneys have warned DPP and Directorate on Corruption and Economic to stop rushing to court on improvised cases, pointing this out as time consuming, frustrating and tarnishes reputation on the accused persons. Kgosi is facing another matter in which he was added as the 18th accused in the laundering of the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF).
Section 19 of the Intelligence Security Services entails the prohibition of disclosure of identity. It states that, a person who discloses the identity of another person which he or she has obtained or to which he or she has had access by virtue of:
â€¨(a)the performance of his or her duties or functions under this Act, orâ€¨(b)his or her position as a person who holds or has held any office in the Directorate, and from which the identity of any person who-â€¨(i) is or was a confidential source of information to the Directorate orâ€¨(ii)is or was an officer or support staff engaged in covert operational activities of the Directorate, can be inferred, and who discloses such information to any person other than a person to whom he or she is authorised to disclose it or to whom it may lawfully be disclosed, shall be guilty of an offence.
Kgosi was featured in some publications claiming that there was a plot to assassinate him. He had allegedly shared with the said media houses pictures of his alleged perpetrators who are intelligence agents armed with weapons.â€¨â€¨In his version in the complaint letter to the security organs, Kgosi had claimed that the two intelligence agents had followed him into the physiotherapy clinic where they aggressively demanded from the receptionist that they be taken to him.
He further alleged that he followed and found his perpetrators parked outside; armed with deadly weapons of war including an Uzi submachine gun after their request was turned down by the receptionist at the clinic.â€¨â€¨Sources in the intelligence circle claim that this is on the contrary, the two officers had followed Kgosi to pass a communiqué concerning his recent raids. ”They just informed the receptionist that they were there to see him. And he came out to meet the officers outside the clinic premises,” he said.
The returned phones were confiscated a week after the alleged expose of DIS agents, the intelligence officers followed Kgosi at his village during his mother’s funeral and tried in vain to confiscate his phones as part of their evidence. They followed him to town a few days later still in the search of the said phones. Kgosi is expected to appear again before the Broadhurst Magistrate on the 24th March 2020.
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.