Two damning affidavits suggest that the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is trying to sweep a fraud case under the carpet because the corruption accused is their star witness in a high profile fraud and money laundering case involving local lawyers.
In a scandalous reversal of roles, the DCEC is being accused of corruption by a prisoner serving a sentence for stock theft at the Francistown State Prison.
In a written sworn statement, Gift Julius, labels the DCEC as corrupt following the Directorate’s failure to take action against a prison warden, Akofang Maesetso, whom he alleges conned him out of P6, 200 promising that he would speed up the hearing of his appeal in the High Court.
In an affidavit, prepared by his lawyer, Ookeditse Maphakwane, Julius says that when he reported the matter to the DCEC around Christmas time last year, the officers who recorded his statement said, “We will try but your matter is complicating a lot of things.”
Julius says that since then, he has not heard from the DCEC or the Ombudsman, where he had also reported the matter.
Maesetso, who is stationed at the same prison, apparently was at one time a defence witness in a case in which Francistown lawyer, Tiro Mothusi, and Gaborone lawyer, Hebert Sikhakhane, faced fraud charges. He had initially given evidence favouring the two lawyers’ case, but then turned around and denied everything he had said whilst being cross examined by prosecutor Phadi Solomon.
In the affidavit, in which he instituted civil claims amounting to P6, 200, Julius labeled the DCEC as corrupt. Moasetso, claimed Julius, conned him out of the money having promised to fast-track his High Court hearing.
Julius further says in the affidavit that the matter started towards December 2005 after he was approached by Moasetso whom he then told about his intention to engage a lawyer so that his appeal case could be heard in the High Court quickly.
Julius alleges that Moasetso then told him that he could arrange it if he (Julius) paid him. He alleges that Moasetso told him that the money would be given to several people including the DPP, State counsel and the registry officer at the High Court.
Julius alleges that he then gave Moasetso his brother Gadzani Badumile’s phone number and that finally his brother deposited money amounting to P1, 200 into Maesetso’s account. This, he said, left a balance of P5 000 which he said he personally paid after he was escorted out of prison by Maesetso to go and collect money from his debtor called Moalosi to whom he had sold some cattle. In all the instances that Maesetso was allegedly paid, no receipts were produced.
Then on November 8, 2006 he alleges that his brother Badumile brought him new clothes consisting of a black suit, black shoes, black belt and black socks as he had been made to believe he would be appearing in court as promised by Maesetso. On the same day that he had received clothes from his brother, Julius alleges in his affidavit that Maesetso then told him that his friend at the criminal registry had passed away and that their objective was bound to fail. At that juncture Julius said he became suspicious and demanded a refund. At about the same time, Julius said Maesetso told him that he was being transferred to Serowe and that he should not report the matter to anybody as the judge who was handling the matter was held up by the Roy Sesana case in Lobatse.
Badumile, in his affidavit, stated he had deposited money into Moasetso’s account and that Moasetso had told him to take clean clothes to his brother in prison for a court appearance and that Moasetso later told Julius that he was now based in Serowe, thus corroborating what Julius had said.