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P100 bn fall: Motsepe lays criminal charges to SAPS

The South African businesswoman, Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe, whom prosecutors fingered as a co-signatory to at least two bank accounts holding some of the P100 billion allegedly stolen from the Botswana government to finance “terrorism”, has laid charges against the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) director, Stephen Tiroyakgosi; former DPP director deputy, Priscilla Israel; and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) investigator, Jako Hubona.

Motsepe’s report to South African Police comes after the high court declared the P100 billion case a fabrication by state law enforcement agencies. Hubona had alleged that Motsepe-Radebe was a co-signatories on South African bank accounts owned by two companies, Blue Flies and Fire Flies.

Motsepe’s police report is an extra burden to the trio-Tiroyakgosi, Israel and Hubona, who are still fighting to clear their names before local authorities as directed by the court. The court has called the president and the Law society to crack the whip on the perpetrators. This week the Law Society revealed that they would appropriately deal with their implicated members-Tiroyakgosi and Israel.

The case has offended South African individuals and shaken the Botswana and South African diplomatic relations. Last week, the South African Ministry of Defence and Corrections Services revealed that they would be seeking clarity from Botswana. In contrast, the South African National Civic Organization (SANCO) yesterday embarked on a trip to the Botswana Embassy to register its dissatisfaction with the government of Botswana about “their continued undermining of the integrity of the South African State in collaboration with a South African right-wing organisation Afri-Forum through fabricated and false allegations.”

In a similar fashion to her co-accused, Motsepe has always maintained her innocence and warned ‘conspirators’ of possible consequences. Her decision to report the matter to the police mirrors former President Lt Gen Ian Khama, who reported Hubona and others to the Botswana police for perjury.

The role of the DPP, before registering the case in court, according to Khama, is to ensure that evidence through the investigations can hold up and is not fabricated. “They were supposed to thoroughly investigate to give them confidence that it is a winnable case. For them to have participated and taken this to court as they had, especially in the case of Butterfly, truly indicate that they were complicit in committing this crime,” he has said.

This week, the Botswana Police service revealed that the case is over; hence they are now at liberty to give it attention and bring the perpetrators to book. But Khama says he also wants the masterminds behind the conspiracy named and shamed for who they are. Motsepe-Radebe was on the eve of the 2019 elections also accused of bankrolling Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s campaign against President Mokgweetsi Masisi in the controversial race of the chairmanship of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), which Moitoi later withdrew from.
Venson-Moitoi, who was seen as Khama’s proxy, said contesting the election would have legitimised what she described as a flawed process.

“I will not run this afternoon because I will not promote a sham. Today’s election is riddled with irregularities,” Venson-Moitoi said, further adding that she would not be part of an election that had been rigged from the onset, saying the ruling party secretariat campaigned for her opponent, President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Around that time, allegations were also flying that billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe was funding a regime-change plot in Botswana, a claim Motsepe vehemently denied.

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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.

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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

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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.

 

 

 

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