Thursday, February 25, 2021

DIS legal advisor appointed DPP

In what may be a case of gamekeeper turning poacher, the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) legal advisor, Leonard Sechele, has been appointed Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) at a time when DPP is handling a number of high profile DIS cases.

Sechele, who was advising the DIS on some of the cases, will now switch sides mid way and possibly preside over their prosecution.

Sechele’s appointment, which was announced this week, comes at a time when the DPP is expected to bring 21 witnesses in the case of four Botswana Defence Force (BDF) soldiers who are accused of murdering John Kalafatis.

They are Sgt. Dzikamani Mothobi, 37, of Nkoyaphiri, Mogoditshane; Lance Corporal Gotshosamang Sechele, 36; Lance Corporal Ronny Matako, 35; and Corporal Boitshoko Maifala, 37; all three based at the Glen Valley BDF Camp. The four have been linked to DIS.

The DPP is also expected to press charges against a DIS agent who allegedly gunned down her colleague in the line of duty last year and framed a Zimbabwean immigrant for the killing.

Investigators spent weeks trying to unravel a non-existent murder by Zimbabwean Blessing Mukweni. The Zimbabwean immigrant accused the state of conspiring to protect the DIS agent and treating him as acceptable collateral damage by trumping up charges against him.

Mukweni was later deported, raising questions against the DIS integrity.

Leonard Sechele was DIS legal advisor for the past two years. The minister of Defense, Justice and Security Dikgakgamatso Seretse confirmed the appointment but would not discuss details.
Chairman of Law Society of Botswana Tebogo Sebego said, “It’s news to me therefore I will comment sometime this week.”

DIS director, Isaac Kgosi, told The Telegraph Monday evening that “our Act does not allow us to divulge the identity of those who serve or who served in the organization.”

Before he joined DIS, Sechele was deputy director at the Motor Vehicle Accident Fund.

Some lawyers who spoke to the Telegraph on condition of anonymity say it would have been tidier if Sechele had been allowed a cooling off period between switching sides to ensure that he is not chief prosecutor in cases he advised the DIS on. They also complained that the position was never advertised to attract the best talent.

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