Connect with us

DPP wins first round in P100 billion case in SA

The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DDP) has reportedly succeeded in its request for mutual legal assistance from the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

This was announced recently by Afriforum Private Prosecution Unit which has been roped in by the DPP to represent the government of Botswana in the case. The focus now shifts to what the South African authorities will provide to Botswana government after months of refusing to partake in the case, which the Botswana central bank has long declared a lie.

Afriforum which identifies itself as a civil rights organisation this week revealed that it achieved success in the mandamus application brought against South Africas Department of Justice which is representing DIRCO. The unit said it filed an application by order of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in Botswana on 14 August 2020 wherein it was requested that the Department must merely perform their duty and inform the Botswana government concerning the status of its request for mutual legal assistance that was already filed on 25 September 2019 by the Botswana DPP.

Failure thus led to the DPP Botswana being forced to drop a charge against Wilhelminah Maswabi because they were unaware of the progress of their request, Afriforum said.

It explained that on 25 August 2020 the Minister of Justice indicated in a media statement that in spite of the good relationship between the Department and the provision of legal aid in other cases, this case will be opposed.

This statement was merely an empty threat as no opposing documents were filed by the government. The application was then placed on the unopposed roll for 7 July 2021 in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Outside the time earmarked for the filing of opposing documents, government in April 2021 filed a notice to oppose but opposing statement, it said.

Afriforum said on 2 July 2021 a letter was received from the state attorney that the government was willing to provide the necessary cooperation.

The Department requested that the matter be struck off the roll with a view to a round table talk between the parties in order to settle the matter, said Afriforum.

The organisation said in a letter to the Department on 5 July 2021 it was indicated that we will agree if the talk takes place before the court date of 7 July 2021, said Afriforum.

On 6 July 2021 at midnight a message was received that the government is withdrawing their request and will continue to oppose the application.

On 7 July 2021 the judge granted the application and the result is that the Department of Justice must provide the information within 14 days and must bear the costs of the lawsuit, said the organization.

Commenting on this development, Afriforum head of prosecution, Gerrie Nel reportedly said Experience has now taught us that the government will hardly do the right thing on their own initiative. It is becoming the norm and not the exception that the government is forced through court orders to perform their work.

In spite of the economical realities the Department of Justice is now burdened with costs orders that they could have prevented by merely doing their duty. This is the third successful mandamus application brought by this unit against the government in circumstances where government authorities did not do their duties. In all three instances costs orders were granted.

At the time when he was hired to represent Botswana Government Neil had said that, 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.

He suggested that Pretorias unwillingness to offer assistance to Botswana was prejudicing the Botswana governments investigation into very serious allegations which were currently on the court roll at the Broadhurst Magistrate Court of Gaborone. It referred to the case against Willhelmina Mphoeng Maswabi, whichAfriForumsaid had been postponed to 17 August 2020.

She is being accused on a range of charges including money laundering, financing terrorism and making a false declaration to get a passport. Also implicated in the case in which P100 billion was allegedly stolen from Bank of Botswana are former President Ian Khama, former Director of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and South African business woman Brigitte Motsepe.

Meanwhile the Botswana Central Bank and South African banks have distanced themselves from the claims made by the state.


Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

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.

Continue Reading


Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

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 Stores’ 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

Continue Reading


Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

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 week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  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.

“Although 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,” said one of Botswana’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, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” 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,” 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.




Continue Reading