Kgosi’s lawyers punch holes into DIS case
The legal tussles between former Director General of the Directorate on Intelligence and Security, Isaac Kgosi and the State continue to occupy the courts. The latest bout played out this week with the former spy chief motivating the court to quash charges levelled against him in a matter alleging illegally exposing identities of intelligence officers.
Kgosi argues that the State’s evidence is frivolous and the case against him is laced with malice. In this matter Kgosi is facing two counts – revealing the identities of DIS agents; and obstructing intelligence officers in the execution of their duties. Kgosi is represented by defence lawyers Unoda Mack and Thabiso Tafila.
When delivering their heads of arguments in court this week, Mack revealed that the only reason that the State was holding onto this case was to embarrass and make his client suffer. Kgosi’s lawyer pointed out that, if the State cannot provide them with further particulars in the matter he does not see any reason why the matter should proceed for trial.
According to Mack, the State has only managed to provide evidence linked to the first agent Kgosi is accused to have revealed and not the second one. His contention was that the only tangible evidence the State has is pictures published in a local newspaper, Mmegi; “the pictures are completely blurred, who are these people?”
“The photographs are not available, they do not have any evidence that indicates that my client was involved in taking this pictures. Not even to link him to the device that was used to obtain these photographs,” Mack questioned referring to the newspaper article he held high for the court to see.
Adding on to this, the court was made privy to the fact that the second alleged agent was not an agent with the DIS but rather a police officer. According to the State through, Thato Dibeela representing the DPP, according to the DIS Act the D.G is responsible for assigning any member of the intelligence community in his capacity as the Director General.
“The second agent, a police officer was authorised to perform duties under the direction of the D.G. A member of the Botswana Police Service is a member of the intelligence community,” Dibeela elucidated.
The defence attorneys then argued that their main concern was that the agent in question was not attested at the DIS nor did he take any oath. Admitting to this, the prosecutor then concluded that if the court finds that the said second agent in question was not an agent of the DIS they may purge him from the charge sheet.
However, in her defence Dibeela said that if need be the prosecution will call the Director General, Peter Fana Magosi to the witness stand to explain to court why he felt the need to assign the two agents and to further confirm whether or not the accused did meet with Kegone Sebina and why this information was important to him.
According to the prosecution, the two agents were assigned to trace Kgosi’s movements on that day to confirm if indeed he had a meeting with one Kegone Sebina. The State argues that they want the matter committed to the High Court for trial on the basis that more evidence will be revealed during trial indicating that a lot will make sense then.
The case was stood down to the 21st January 2020, when the Magistrate will deliver a judgement on whether the charges against Kgosi should be quashed or not. Meanwhile another matter before courts Kgosi also wants the State to drop charges against him as there is no evidence linking him to the alleged crimes.
The former DIS director general is also charged in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) where he is accused to have requested to build fuel storage facilities, but later changed the intended purpose of the money.
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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup
With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.
Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.
The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.
Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.
“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.
Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.
Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.
For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.
Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS
The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.
When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.
Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.
She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Storesâ€™ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.
During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.
Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017
Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting
The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.
According to the last weekâ€™s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,Â the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.
However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.
â€śAlthough PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,â€ť said one of Botswanaâ€™s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.
While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, â€śThe Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Areaâ€ť in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,â€ť a release from the PAP website reads.
“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.
The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.