Thursday, June 4, 2020

Butale threatens to ‘topple’ government

Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) president Biggie Butale this week in Ramotswa pulled an Isaac Kgosi on Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) officers, threatening to topple the government. “I’m going to topple this government,” Butale told BURS General Manager –Investigations, Compliance, and Enforcement, Kaone Molapo and his colleague this past Thursday November 14, 2019.

The BPF leader even wanted to ensure the moment was caught on camera, enquiring with the Sunday Standard photographer if he captured the moment.

This is the second time this year that somebody has publicly threatened to topple President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s government following the same utterances by former Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General and now fugitive, Isaac Kgosi, during his arrest by his successor Peter Magosi at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport in January.

Butale uttered the words perhaps in frustration following his detainment together with his wife at the Ramotswa Border Post on suspicions of money laundering. The two had failed to declare at least R41 800 found in their possession by Customs officials.

According to the Customs Act, any amount equivalent or exceeding P10 000 should be declared upon entry or departure at the border. Butale accused officials of harassment as they continued to search his car following the discovery.

BURS engaged their K9 dogs to sniff the BPF leader’s car before touring the vehicle away for stripping and searching.

During his arrest in January former DIS boss Kgosi also publicly threatened to topple the government. The once feared and powerful spy boss was arrested on charges of tax evasion by the DIS led by his very own successor, Magosi. The DIS, the Botswana Police and BURS frequented his Phakalane suburbs mansion following the arrest, searching for evidence to pin him down.

Most recently the former Director of intelligence’s name has popped up again in a case involving his junior at DIS and alleged girlfriend Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi (popularly known as Butterfly) who has been charged with Possession of Unexplained Property, Financing Terrorism and False Declaration for Passport.

At the center of the terrorism charges are Kgosi’s own utterances when he threatened to ‘topple’ the government during his well-publicized arrest at the airport.

Interestingly, BPF leader Butale’s partner could also find herself facing, in part, similar charges to those of Butterfly following her failure to declare funds at the border. While the amount found in her possession pales in comparison to the billions of Pula Butterfly allegedly has in offshore accounts, the charges Galaletsang Butale may face are equally serious. She could face charges for money laundering and sponsoring acts of terrorism under both the Customs Act and the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act (PICA).

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