NPF money trail and Mhlanzi’s blood trail lead to same suspects

03 Dec 2018

The National Petroleum Fund laundered money was used to pay off assassins hired to murder Basis Points Director Vusi Mhlanzi – South African investigators have established.

At least three Batswana accused of laundering the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money are wanted in South Africa for the murder.

The South African Police are preparing documents to have the trio extradited to face murder charges for allegedly ordering a hit on Mhlanzi who was also Bakang Seretse’s business partner.

Seretse and Mhlanzi were partners in Basis Points Capital, one of the companies facing NPF money laundering charges at the Gaborone Broadhurst Magistrates Court.

Sunday Standard has established that two of the three who are wanted for Mhlanzi’s murder met with a South African associate in Kanye a week before the hit.

The South African associate is related to the third murder suspect who did not attend the Kanye meeting, but whose company was allegedly used as a conduit to pay Mhlanzi’s assassins.

The relative is listed in the NPF money laundering charge sheet and appeared for mention at the Broadhurst Magistrates Court last week.

Seretse who was Mhlanzi’s partner in Basis Points has already been questioned by South African police in connection with Mhlanzi’s murder. Sources close to the investigations have revealed that the South African investigating officers have been able to track a transaction from the National Petroleum fund via one of the companies implicated in the money laundering scheme to an account in South Africa linked to suspected hit man believed to have murdered Mhlanzi.

Mhlanzi and Bakang Seretse went into business in Botswana together five years ago. Mhlanzi had started Basis Points Capital in South Africa and partnered with Seretse to expand the company into Botswana.

Documents passed to the Sunday Standard show that a meeting of the Board of Directors of Basis Points Capital held in Gaborone on 15th December 2015 resolved that Vusi Mhlanzi in his capacity as Managing Director of the company was authorised to sign the agreement between the Department of Energy and Basis Point Capital.

Vusi Mhlanzi signed on behalf of Basis Points Capital while former Director of Department of Energy Kenneth Kerekang signed on behalf of the department. Kerekang has since been charged with money laundering alongside Vusi Mhlanzi’s business partners, Bakang Seretse.

According to the resolution of the Basis Points Capital Board of Director, “The said Vusi Mhlanzi be and is hereby authorised , from time to time, to review this Agreement, renegotiate it with the Department of Energy and sign for any amendments and/or adjustments as may be agreed by the parties in accordance with the provisions hereof.”

The resolution further states “that in his or her sole and absolute discretion the said Vusi Mhlanzi be and is hereby authorised to appoint and mandate any representative(s) as may be necessary in consequence thereof.”

According to the Memorandum of Agreement between the department and Basis Point Capital, the latter was to manage monies due and received in respect of levies charged under the Control of Goods, Price and other Charges (Petroleum Products (Levy) Regulations and from other sources.

Basis Points Capital was also to operate current and call accounts as necessary to allow for payments of daily activities of the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) which mostly cover maintenance costs of the two government strategic deposits.

Basis Points Capital was also expected to invest monies of NPF in investments as directed by the National Petroleum Committee to ensure that the funds are kept fully invested at maximum rates available in the market at all times.

It was also to ensure payment of all expenditures of the NPF including its auditors as authorised by the National Petroleum Committee and prepare and submitting monthly statements of transactions and of final accounts on quarterly basis to the client (department of energy) through the National Petroleum Fund Management Committee.

The department paid Basis Points Capital P15 million. The Sunday Standard was not able to establish if the resolution was indeed signed by Mhlanzi.

Court records however reveal that Seretse is accused of forging a Basis Points Capital company resolution in which he and Mhlanzi resolved to open an account with Capital Bank. It has emerged that Seretse opened the bank behind Mhlanzi’s back.

A month before Mhlanzi was gunned down; he was alerted to a suspect bank account that had been opened with Capital bank in his company’s name.

Court records have further revealed that the controversial account has been used by Seretse and Kebonang allegedly to launder millions of NPF Funds.