Masisi foils Israeli sponsored coup

21 Jan 2019

Former Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services boss Isaac Kgosi’s threat to topple the government has given traction to ongoing investigations into an alleged Israeli sponsored attempt to coup President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

A senior government official close to the investigations has told Sunday Standard that government is treating Kgosi’s threats seriously in light of an alleged Israeli sponsored coup plot that was foiled in July last year and is seriously considering treason charges against the former DIS boss.

Sunday Standard investigations have turned up information that three months in office, Masisi scuppered a coup attempt by Israeli mercenaries and there is an ongoing investigation on Batswana partners behind the plot.

Shortly before he was fired, Isaac Kgosi had paid the Israeli Dignia Systems to supply the DIS with Israeli mercenaries.

The DIS shopping list that was handed to the Israeli company suggested that Kgosi may have been preparing for a civil strife. Dignia Systems which is a security solutions and defence technology company based in Israel was also contracted to provide VIP protection training and supply among other things a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle).

Top on the list with a price tag of US $17 million, (more than P170 million) is the Aeronautics Dignia. This is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or RPAS (Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems) commonly known as a drone.

Drones are used in situations where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult. Used mostly by the army, they provide troops with a 24-hour "eye in the sky", seven days a week. Each aircraft can stay aloft for up to 17 hours at a time, loitering over an area and sending back real-time imagery of activities on the ground.

According to the invoice which has been made available to the Sunday Standard, Dignia Systems was also contracted to provide Commander’s VIP protection training. In most jurisdictions, VIP protection is usually provided for the President, the Vice President and Cabinet Ministers.

Israel has invested millions of Pula to keep the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in power  in a bid to secure its strategic hold on the Botswana military, intelligence and the diamond industry.

The 2014 ruling BDP campaign was also heavily sponsored by the Israelis through former Director General of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Isaac Kgosi. As part of the sponsorship package, scores of Israeli consultants with links to the Israeli spy outfit Moosad helped set up a “war room” for the BDP in the run up to the elections. The Israeli consultants who headed the BDP war room, Timor Consultancy was headed by Adi Temor who first made international headlines as second in command at GCS International which was branded a Moosad front by the Romanian media during the 2012 Romanian election campaign. Timor personally worked with President Traian Basescu of Romania during the latter’s campaign, and alongside GCS Chief Executive Officer Tal Silberstein was reported to be a Moosad agent.

 

Israel is understood to be worried about losing its military and economic strategic advantages in Botswana as a result of the change of guard from former President Ian Khama to President Masisi.

The firing of Isaac Kgosi has especially unsettled the Israelis with commercial interests in Botswana.

The new DIS administration is understood to have severed links with Israel and is looking elsewhere for suppliers. Under Khama’s administration, Israel was Botswana’s biggest supplier of military and intelligence hardware and software and is still one of the biggest investors in the Botswana diamond industry.

The change of guard at the Office of the President also coincides with the upcoming negotiation of Botswana’s diamond sales agreement with De Beers when the current one expires next year.

President Masisi hinted at the diamond conference held in Gaborone last year that his government might adopt a more aggressive posture at the negotiations.

“Through our partnership with De Beers, there has been over the years, increased participation in the diamond pipeline from prospecting through to cutting and polishing. Our historic 2011 sales agreement was instrumental in achieving these milestones. We, however, need to move further up the pipeline to jewellery manufacturing and retail”.

Israel is one of the world’s leading diamond centres – a hub for both the trade and manufacture of polished diamonds.

Since the State of Israel was established the Israeli Diamond Industry has contributed significantly to the development of its economy.

Polished diamonds are one of Israel’s leading export items. Today Israel is one of the world’s largest exporters of polished diamonds, and a major centre for the trade in rough diamonds as well. About one third of global rough diamond production is imported to the Israel Diamond Exchange each year from where it finds its way to world markets.

Israel is the foremost polished diamond supplier to the US market, which is considered the largest diamond consumption market in the world. Approximately 50% of diamonds purchased in the US in dollar terms come from Israel.