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The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime had seized Former Minister of Minerals Sadique Kebonang and former Chief of Protocol Daphne Kadiwa’s vehicles as part of their investigations in to the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money laundering case. Kebonang was implicated in the case and deposed an affidavit with the DCEC explaining his involvement. It is however not clear how Kadiwa is linked to the high profile case.
Papers filed at the Regional Magistrate Court revealed that DCEC seized Kebonang’s Land Cruiser, and Kadiwa’s Mercedes Benz. The vehicles are part of the properties that the DCEC seized from businessman Bakang Seretse and Chief Executive Director of Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) Kenneth Kerekang who are accused of money laundering.
In a court order directing the DCEC to seize the properties, Magistrate Tshepho Thedi states that is inline with Section 58 of the Criminal Procedures and Evidence Act the listed items among them Kebonang and Kadiwa’s vehicles were brought before her and inspected by her for purposes aligned to the said provision.
The section in question states in part that “...the person making the arrest or (as the case may be), the person seizing or taking the thing shall deliver, or cause to deliver, the property or thing to a judicial officer within such time as in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable.”
Thedi also ordered that “since the property will afford as to the commission of an offence the property as listed be retained in the possession of the Directorate on corruption and Economic Crime/ the investigator until the trial is completed or until the Director of Public Prosecution orders that the property be dealt with otherwise in terms of section 57 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.”
The court records also show that the DCEC seized Seretse’s Ford Ranger model, and Volvo XC 90 T6, they also seized his company Basis Point Capital vehicles ; two Ford Ranger models, Petrol Trimmer, two Brush cutters, two Push mowers, two balers, husqvarna mower, mounted harrow, field king disc plough. The DCEC also seized two discla slashers, a generator, connecting shaft, tractor canopy, axle drop sides trailer, finger rake and various steel tubular support and rods. Kenneth Kerekang had his Maseey Ferguson tractor seized by the DCEC together with MF 355 tractor 4 Disc Plough Row Planter, Disc Harrow, Disassembled Reservoir, Trail Equip.
The DCEC also seized four vehicles called the International London Taxis registered under a company called WestFerry Pty Ltd, a Land Cruiser from a company called STM Holdings, white Toyota Hilux registered under a company called Yantse Construction and Civils (Pty) Ltd. The DCEC also seized two farm tractors, 6050 2WD, 2050 2WD whose registered owners were unnamed.
Meanwhile, Lobatse High Justice Jennifer Dube has suspended the order that was issued by Thedi and the warrant of seizure by the DCEC. She also ordered the DCEC to release all assets seized by DCEC that belong to Kerekang and Seretse. Sunday Standard was not able to establish if the order by Dube also extends to Kebonang and Kadiwa. But sources said Kebonang’s vehicle has been released.
“During the suspension of the warrant of seizure, it is hereby ordered that the said assets are not to be sold to anyone or pass ownership in any shape or form; the assets are not to be used in such a manner as to accelerate the depreciation of their value and the said assets are not to leave the country,” ruled Dube.
Seretse and Kerekang’s lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae had put up a spirited legal bid demanding that the order issued by Thedi be set aside arguing that due process was not followed when it was issued.
Justice Dube agreed with Ngakaagae that Seretse and Kerekang were not afforded an opportunity to make representations to the judicial officer (Thedi) in order to influence the magistrate’s decision not to issue an absolute order of seizure.
“I find this procedure to be flawed and irregular especially where the other party had been cited. The respondent (Attorney General and DCEC) failed to controvert this assertion,” she said. reue