Tuesday, May 18, 2021

DPP and DISS conspire to kill corruption case

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is currently investigating a case suggesting that the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) may be collaborating with the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) to kill high profile cases.

The DCEC is investigating a case in which a boss at the DPP who is known to this publication conspired with an accused person in a high profile corruption case to kill the case and were helped by the DISS to conceal the conspiracy.

The case provides a peep show into the shadowy electronic warfare between the DCEC and the DISS as the spy agency tries to frustrate the graft buster’s campaign to fight corruption.

Sunday Standard can reveal that DCEC intercepted communication between the DPP boss and the high profile accused person planning to kill the case.

Sources reveal that the DPP boss was tipped off that his cellular phone secret conversation with the high profile accused person had been breached and the DPP boss arranged a secret meeting with DISS engineers to delete the communication from his handset and that of the accused person before the DCEC confiscated them.

Sunday Standard can reveal that the DCEC has already impounded the cellular phones of the DPP boss and the corruption accused and have sent them to a company in South Africa to retrieve the deleted communication.

DCEC spokesperson Nyaladzi Gambule said “if you recall very well the accused person had already been charged, served and a date was set for her arraignment before the Southern Region Magistrate Court.”

He said to the DCEC surprise the arraignment was called off due to the fact that the accused claimed that she was not well and not in a position to appear before court.

Gambule said since then nothing has happened but pointed out that DPP is better placed to respond to “why the corruption accused has not been arraigned.”

Gambule would neither confirm nor deny that the DCEC was investigating the DPP conspiracy. He told the Sunday Standard that, “I am not prepared to discuss whether DCEC has launched fresh investigations surrounding the case as well as the prosecutor.”

Head of Corruption Unit at DPP Normsa Moatswi said the corruption accused will be arraigned as soon as the prosecution has finalized clarifying a few points which have a bearing in determining the appropriate charge.”

She added that “the case has never been registered nor has she has been arraigned before any court, at least by us on the case that we received from the DCEC.”

When asked whether DPP considers calling off the case, she replied that “at no point has the DPP considered calling off the case on account of insufficient evidence.”

Revealations of a possible conspiracy between the DPP and the DISS comes at a time when the DPP has been stalling from prosecuting the spy chief, Isaac Kgosi who is being accused of corruption and money laundering.

The outgoing DPP boss Leonard Sechele recently stoked speculations that Kgosi may never get his day in court. Sechele, who worked under Kgosi as legal advisor to the DISS told a local newspaper that there was no reason for people to get excited about Kgosi’s alleged multiple corruption offences because there was no guarantee that he would be prosecuted. “I do not know why everyone seem so excited about this Kgosi thing…they should wait until it goes to court if indeed the matter ever goes to court,” Sechele said.

In a curious turn of events, the Attorney General earlier this year confirmed that the DCEC investigations against Kgosi had been completed and the docket forwarded to the DPP for assessment and possible prosecution. In a letter to Sunday Standard lawyers, Bayford and Associates, the Attorney General further disclosed that the DCEC had decided to withdraw their application in which they sought to interdict the Sunday Standard from publishing information contained in the docket. “We shall file our application for withdrawal in due course”, stated the letter signed by U.K Mabophiwa from the Attorney General’s Chambers.

The DPP however went back on the undertaking to withdraw the application to muzzle the Sunday Standard from writing about Kgosi’s case and insisted that it should be argued in court.
Kgosi was investigated by the DCEC for “obtaining by false pretences contrary to Section 308 of the Penal Code CAP 08:01; Failure to give a satisfactory explanation as to how he is able to maintain a standard of living disproportionate to his present or past known sources of income or assets, contrary to Section 34 of the DCEC Act CAP 08:05; Stealing by a person employed in the Public Service contrary to Section 276 of the penal Code CAP 08:01; money laundering contrary to Section 14 of the Corruption and Economic Crime Act CAP 08:05 and abuse of office contrary to Section 104 of the Penal Code CAP 08:01.”

The DPP which is currently assessing Kgosi’s docket, however would not answer questions from the Sunday Standard. In a written response, outgoing Director of Public Prosecutions, Leonard Sechele stated, “It is not in the nature of the Director of Public Prosecutions to discuss cases not registered with the courts neither would the Director of Public Prosecutions discuss issues of whether or not the case docket is in their possession. In the questionnaire to Sechele, the Sunday Standard tried to establish how the DPP would go around complications it faces in assessing and possibly prosecuting Kgosi. Indications are that Sechele, who is the Director of Public Prosecutions may be caught in a conflict of interest in assessing and making a decision on Kgosi’s case.

Before he became DPP, Sechele was employed by the DISS during which time he worked under and reported to Kgosi. Some of the charges preferred against Kgosi may be related to incidents which took place when Sechele was Kgosi’s legal advisor. The deputy DPP, Kabo Leinaeng may also find himself conflicted because he is Kgosi’s immediate neighbour at Phakalane Estates and also an acquaintance. Another Senior state cousel who usually handles DPP high Profile cases, Ambrose Mubikwa would also be humstrung to prosecute Kgosi because he is a foreigner. His work and residence permits have to be vetted by Kgosi’s charges.

Mubikwa has prosecutes DPP high profile cases such as the case against the extra-judicial execution of John Kalasfatis and the corruption case agaist former Executive Secretary of Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) Armando Lionjanga. The Sunday Standard wanted to establish if “owing to the position of Mr. Kgosi ( as Director General of DISS) and considering the atmosphere of fear (or a perception thereof) engulfing the public relative to the activities of his organisation coupled with the DPP’s manpower constraints, if Sechele would consider outsourcing services for Kgosi’s prosecution.”

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