Saturday, October 24, 2020

Defense to give final submissions in lawyers’ case next week

Tengo Rubadiri and Unoda Mack, both Gaborone-based lawyers representing two other lawyers, Tiro Mothusi and Herbert Sikhakhane, in a fraud case, are expected to give their final submissions next week in a marathon trial which has been running for close to two years.
The prosecutor in this matter, Deputy Director of the Directorate of Public Prosecution, Phadi Solomon, has already given final submissions in this matter.
In her submissions, Solomon asked the Court to convict the two lawyers saying that the state had proved its case beyond any doubt.

This, she said, was so because they had shown that the two lawyers had been invited into a conspiracy by other people, who were not before the Court, to obtain money from the government by false pretences.

She said Mothusi, together with his company, had obtained money from the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund and from the Botswana Life Insurance by way of opening fake client files at their law firms in order to conceal the true source of the funds.

She submitted that Sikhakhane, the other lawyer involved in this matter, had, in addition to receiving and possessing the money, concealed the money by creating false attorney client files and false invoicing.

Solomon said the two lawyers’ intention to defraud was shown by one state witness, known as Baikepi, who was Sikhakhane’s messenger, saying that evidence brought before the Court showed quite well that the two lawyers had opened false files to cover up the fraud they had committed. She submitted that Mothusi’s guilt was also shown by several occasions in which he interfered with state witnesses.

Solomon said that they had produced evidence showing clearly and beyond any doubt that there was no person by the name of Zolile Mafunkane and a company by the name of AES Hyperworld, adding that they were just artificial evidence brought before the court by the accused persons.

This she said was also proved by the fact that Mafukane’s name does not exist in the national database of South Africa and the company he is alleged to be representing is not registered in that country.

The prosecutor said Mothusi had taken drastic measures to prove that Makunfane existed when he did not and that he had also interfered with state witnesses to an extent that his bail was once revoked.

Before Solomon made the final submissions, the Magistrate presiding over the case, current Assistant and Master of the Lobatse High Court, Nelson Bopa, had turned down an application brought before the Court by Rubadiri asking the Court to allow them to reopen Mothusi’s case and lead new evidence challenging the evidence given by one Akofang Moasetso who had given conflicting evidence in the case.

In his evidence in chief, Moasetso gave evidence supporting Mothusi’s version of events relating to the case, but under cross examination by Solomon, he gave a completely new version of events.
This apparently happened after he was interrogated by officials from the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime.

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