Gaborone – The Botswana government though the Department of Public Prosecution (DPP) has given green light to AfriForum (DPP’s legal representative in SA) to take the South African government to court in a bid to try to force it to respond to a request for mutual legal assistance on the P100 billion money laundering saga.
The case will be heard in South Africa in June 2021 according to Gerrie Nel – Head of private prosecutions at AfriForum.
Nel told a press conference on Wednesday that his legal team has since decided to enroll the case with the courts after the South African government continued to ignore Botswana’s mutual legal assistance
“The matter has been enrolled for the courts to decide on it. Unfortunately we have only received a date for this application to be heard for June next year. We will do what we can to remove that because that creates more time for delay and more things to happen”
Nel said that DPP has confirmed its support for all the steps that AfriForum is taking.
“I had a telephone conversation with advocate Tiroyakgosi this morning. They confirm the brief, and all the steps we are taking – they support us in going forward. They confirm that they have received no formal communications from South African government pertaining to the application they filed and that because of the failure they had to withdraw certain charges”, Nel told journalists.
For his part, DPP Director told journalists that the Botswana government has since been forced to withdraw certain charges against Welheminah Maswabi on account of failure to get a formal response from DPP’s counterparts in South Africa.
“I would like to confirm that the brief still stand. We have not had had any formal communications from our counterparts in South Africa. The consequences of not having that formal response is that we have had to withdraw against the lady known as Welheminah Maswabi and we will be going to court sometime in January on a reduced charge sheet on account of the fact that we have not had the information we sort from our counterparts in South Africa. We still maintain that we want to have as much information as possible or if there is none a confirmation that there is no information so that we can make appropriate decisions going forward”, Tiroyakgosi said on Wednesday.
Tiroyakgosi also said that the DPP has not been able to lay charges against former President Ian Khama and SA businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe yet because, “certain information that we sort in relation to them has not been confirmed”.
Motsepe and Khama have been fingered in the ongoing money laundering case against Welheminah Maswabi – a Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) operative who is locally known as “Butterfly”. Maswabi’s charges have since been reduced and her case is expected to resume in January 2021.