The Minister of Mineral Resources; Green Technology and Energy Security Advocate Sadique Kebonang will not suspend Director of Energy Department Kenneth Kerekang from work despite a recommendation from his Permanant Secretary.
Kerekang who is currently the Chief Executive Director of Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) is facing money laundering charges.
Sunday Standard investigations have turned up information that sometime in January, the Permenant Secreary in the Ministry of Mineral Resources; Green Technology and Energy Security Dr Obolokile Obakeng wrote to Minister Kebonang recommending that Kerekang be interdicted pending the outcome of his criminal case. In a brief interview, Obakeng confirmed that,“It is true that I did recommend and wrote to the minister about his suspension. I am personally shocked that Kerekang is still reporting for duty,” said Obakeng.
He added that he does not know why the minister was reluctant to indorse his recommendation for the suspension of Kerekang.“Procedurally at this time he was not supposed to be at work at all,” said Obakeng.
Kebonang would not be drawn into discussing matter when contacted for comment.
Kerekang lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae said he is equally shocked that the top management at the ministry who are also implicated in the criminal case have not been charged by the DCEC, “therefore it is not necessary for my client to be interdicted.” He said that should his client be interdicted, he would challenge the legality of the suspension.
Kerekang together with his two co accused Bakang Seretse and Botho Leburu are have been charged for allegedly laundering P250 million that was transferred to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DISS) for construction of fuel storage tanks, before being diverted for alleged purchase of military hardware in Israel.
Minister Kebonang has also deposed a statement with the DCEC following a string of curious bank transfers running into millions of Pula made in his favour by companies owned by Bakang Seretse..
Kebonang earlier this year deposed a statement with the DCEC stating among other things that he sold three properties to Seretse; two houses in Johannesburg valued at around P12 million between them and another house in Phakalane, Gaborone valued at P3 million.
The money, said Kebonang was paid in bits and pieces, hence a succession of bank transfers made in his favour by companies owned by Seretse.
“When you sell somebody a house you do not ask them where they are getting money from. Seretse is a businessman,” said Kebonang in an earlier interview with Sunday Standard.