Wednesday, October 20, 2021

DPP may be blocking criminal prosecutions against big fishes

Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Director General, Rose Seretse on Friday stopped short of accusing the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) of blocking prosecutions against big fishes accused of corruption.

Fielding questions from the public Accounts Committee, the DCEC accounting officer disclosed that they investigate corruption across the board but there was nothing more they can do “if Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) sees no need to prosecute.”

Rose Seretse told the PAC that the “DPP is the ultimate authority, they decide whether to prosecute or not, on any case referred to them by DCEC. The law does not compel DPP to give reasons as to why they cannot prosecute.”

She was responding to a question from Member of Parliament for Francistown West Ignatius Moswaane who wanted to know what is usually done when DCEC has a strong case against one of the elites and DPP decide not to prosecute.

 “DCEC investigates, DPP prosecutes, we can ask for reasons why certain cases are not prosecuted but really as DCEC we have limitations, DPP is not compelled to give reasons why they did not prosecute. Sometimes they send cases back to us for further investigations,” said Seretse.

Seretse disclosed that the absence of laws to protect whistle blowers make it difficult for DCEC to protect sources.

Though Seretse says DCEC never reveal information about their informants it emerged that some of their sources have in the past been threatened by suspects. Seretse said the system can never be fool proof and that some of his officers may leak information to third parties. She further states that in other cases, it is the informants who go around bragging that they have reported a suspect to the DCEC.

“It is difficult to protect whistleblowers who have been threatened since we do not have the laws, but if the situation worsens we approach other law enforcement agencies for help,” she said . She was responding to a question from the chairman of the PAC Abraham Kesupile who asked about the protection of whistle blowers.

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