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DPP defends engaging SA’s “chauvinistic” AfriForum Counsel

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DPP chief Stephen Tiroyakgosi

Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has this week defended their stance on the engagement of the Afrikaaner Afriforum’s Advocate Gerri Nel to represent Botswana Government in the P100 billion high-profile money-laundering and fraud case.

AfriForum is a South African non-governmental organisation focused mainly on the interests of Afrikaners, a sub-group of the country’s white population. The group regards itself as a civil rights organisation that “mobilises” Afrikaners, Afrikaans-speaking people and other minority groups in South Africa and protects their rights. Advocate Gerrie Nel currently leads the AfriForum Private Prosecution Unit.

According to AfriForum, Adv. Nel and Adv. Phyllis Vorster were officially appointed by Adv. Stephen Tiroyakgosi, Botswana’s Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), to represent the Republic of Botswana. Speaking to WeekendPost in an interview on Thursday, DPP’s Director Stephen Tiroyakgosi confirmed engaging Nel and defended the move which has attracted stiff criticism in Botswana from local attorneys, NGO’s, and opposition political parties.

“Yes I can confirm that we have engaged the services of Gerrie Nel and his team,” Tiroyakgosi contended. However, the DPP Director was at pains in trying to extricate and separate Nel from the notorious and infamous Afriforum. “Unfortunately he [Nel] also works for or with Afriforum,” he highlighted while adding that “we have not engaged Afriforum as we don’t believe they provide legal services.”

He continued to justify: “I believe that as a former prosecutor Nel knows the intricacies of Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) processes.” According to DPP’s Tiroyakgosi, they “obviously” couldn’t engage local lawyers on the high profile matter as only very few of them, if any are admitted to practice in South Africa. In any event, he continued, “in view of travel restrictions I don’t believe they would have been on the ground to do the work we wanted done.”

When further asked on how much in terms of the legal costs that the Botswana Government will bear, in estimation or actual amount, he said he cannot comment on the charge presently. He told WeekendPost: “I do not wish to discuss the issue of fees at this stage.”

The legal fees inquiry was motivated by the strong believe that Advocate Nel, who became famous for the well-publicised case on Oscar Pistorius, does not come cheap in matters of law and as such will bear heavily to the tax payers. This publication further sought comment on why Nel because he sits on the Afriforum, an organ regarded as representing the narrow interests of white supremacist Afrikaners.

This, some believe is an endorsement on the racial gulf that is currently sweeping across the world through Black Lives Matter, and others, Botswana included. He however reiterated that they engaged Nel on his capabilities and not necessarily Afriforum which is seen as largely racist.

The engagement of Afriforum’s Nel comes at a time when the world all over is entangled with issue of racism after two black citizens in America or African American were brutally (racists charged) killed by the Police in the country. Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi together with his cabinet then publicly associated with America’s Black Lives Matter and in the process exercised a silent moment for the murdered George Floyd and many others who died prior at the hands of the Police in the United States.

The engagement of Afrikaaner’s Afriforum Counsel by Botswana Government also comes at a time when the American Bar Association (ABA) cancelled its planned programme with former apartheid President FW de Klerk, after a flood of objections from, among others, former Truth and Reconciliation commissioners, human rights activists, American academics and the son of slain Cradock Four, anti-apartheid activist Fort Calata.

According to SA’s News24 De Klerk’s conversation about “rule of law, constitutional democracy, minority rights, social change, racism and global security” had been cancelled. Fort Calata’s son, Lukhanyo – who was the first person to write to the ABA and ask it to reconsider its De Klerk invitation – told News24 that “our wish is that organisations around the world will follow the ABA’s lead and give careful consideration before extending an invite to (persons such as) De Klerk to speak on matters that he’s wholly unqualified to opine on.”

Botswana’s DPP primary mandate is the prosecution of criminal cases before all courts of the land, criminal applications and appeals arising from criminal litigation. The primary penal statutes used by the Directorate in criminal prosecution are the Penal Code, Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which gives guidance on general matters of procedure in criminal litigation.

Advocate Nel will facilitate the Botswana government’s request for mutual legal assistance in the 100 billion Bank of Botswana fraud and money-laundering matter after the DPP in Botswana request was turned down and therefore unsuccessful. “The fact that DIRCO failed to give any feedback to the DPP of Botswana over nine months indicates that the South African government is unwilling to assist our client with their request. We will intervene and ensure that our client receives the necessary cooperation from the South African government to ensure that justice prevails,” says Adv. Nel.

This follows after Motsepe-Radebe was identified as a cosignatory of at least two bank accounts (one of which was an Absa and the other a Nedbank account) holding some of the more than P100 billion allegedly stolen from the Botswana government to finance a “coup” before the national election in Botswana. Motsepe-Radebe among others is accused of having laundered millions of Botswana Pulas through Avante Security Services, to sponsor the opposition candidate of Mokgweetsi Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana.

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Masisi pits Balopi against Magang

6th July 2020

A fascinating battle for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General position and perhaps the succession plan is looming on the horizon as the incumbent Mpho Balopi is set to face Lesang Magang in an intriguing duel. The position of Secretary General has attracted the interest of many democrats, but an interesting battle lies between the two.

The reason is plain and simple; the fallout between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Balopi and the former’s reported affection for Magang. The BDP elective congress has been postponed to next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and sources within the party tell this publication that Masisi is endorsing Magang albeit cautions. According to informants, the President wants someone fresh and who has deep understanding of the party and Magang’s hyped 30 years of serving the BDP fits that description.

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Magosi, Gen Masire war over State secrets

6th July 2020
Masire

Directorate of Intelligence Service (DIS) boss Brigadier Peter Magosi is reportedly entangled in yet another feud with one of President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s inner circle associates, Lieutenant General Tebogo Masire, for being an ‘enemy’ of State, WeekendPost is reliably informed.

Masisi’s inner-group is said to be riddled by factions and one member, Peter Magosi is described as dead-man walking and unwanted. Reports coming from the State house say that Masisi is in a dilemma as his trusted lieutenants are in an intensive cold war and as such that provides him with contradicting information which might see him firing blanks throughout his mandate. At the heart of the matter is a silent fallout between Magosi and former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Commander Lt General Tebogo Masire.

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BDP puts burden on Khama in P100 billion corruption loot

6th July 2020
Former President: Khama

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General Mpho Balopi has hailed the South African independent political analyst Sandile Swana for piling the burden on former President Lt Gen Ian Khama to prove his innocence in the ongoing 100 billion corruption loot.

This comes after a close Khama ally and South African businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe has been fingered as a co-signatory to at least two bank accounts holding some of the more than P100 billion allegedly stolen from the Botswana government to finance “terrorism.”

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