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South African billionaire businessman, Patrice Motsepe pledged P22 million towards helping Pelonomi Venson Moitoi to topple President Mokgweetsi Masisi as Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) President.
Sunday Standard can reveal that on the evening of former President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s departure to India to meet the Dalai Lama he first had a meeting with Patrice Motsepe, Bridgette Motsepe Radebe and Malcolm X inside the OR Tambo Intercontinental Hotel’s Presidential Suite booked by Bridgette Motsepe Radebe.
During the secret meeting Patrice Motsepe pledged R22 million while her sister Bridgette Motsepe Radebe pledged R11 million towards helping Venson–Moitoi’s campaign to unseat President Masisi as BDP president. The Sunday Standard can further reveal that after the meeting Patrice Motsepe was the first to leave the OR Tambo Intercontinental Hotel and was later followed by Ian Khama.
Motsepe last week issued summons against the Sunday Standard demanding P 5 million in damages following an article in which the newspaper published on April 1 headlined, "New Jerusalem Vic Falls secret meeting scuttled".
In it, the paper reported that Motsepe and his sister, businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe, donated R22m and R 11 million respectively to Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s campaign ahead of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s elective conference held last month.
Part of the article read: “By Friday, a team of Botswana Police Service officers were investigating a number of security companies which are allegedly being used to smuggle campaign money into the country.
"This followed unconfirmed reports that South African mining tycoon Patrice Motsepe, who is also brother to Bridgette, had donated R22m to Venson-Moitoi’s campaign, which had already been smuggled into Botswana.”
The Sunday Standard can now confirm that the two Motsepe siblings had pledged the amount towards the campaign to topple Masisi, and that it is true that the Botswana Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) and a Botswana Police Service Task team had launched an investigation against some security companies based on reports that the security companies had been used to smuggle the money into Botswana.
The Sunday Standard can further confirm that the Botswana police team investigating reports that the money was smuggled into the country was made up of three investigators among them Ramontshonyane and Mashibile.
Following discussions with Patrice Motsepe’s South African lawyer Adam Anderson who is a partner in the law-firm Bowman Gilfillan, The Sunday Standard Editor Outsa Mokone and Anderson agreed on a retraction of the “offending paragraph” from the story. And the Sunday Standard went on to make the retraction as per the agreement.
Motsepe’s decision to institute the law suit against the Sunday Standard follows a meeting last month where the group behind the plot to oust President Mokgweetsi Masisi agreed on a publicity and litigation blitzkrieg against the Sunday Standardand President Masisi. At the meeting, the group also agreed on a forum shopping strategy to target judges who are friendly to them. (Details to follow next week).
Curiously, Motsepe’s writ of summons against the Sunday Standard was made available to one local newspaper and a number of South African media houses even before it was served on the Sunday Standard. At the time the story of Motsepe’s law suit started running in local and South African media houses, Motsepe’s lawyers had not served the Sunday Standard.