BY THOBO MOTLHOKA
The saying ‘a leopard never changes its spots’ must carry a lot of weight for Selebi Phikwe West Member of Parliament Dithapelo Keorapetse if his stance on asset management company Kgori Capital is anything to go by.
Keorapetse last week expressed concern over the involvement of Kgori Capital in the multi-million Pula Botswana Defense Force Welfare Trust Fund.
The MP’s concerns stem from the Minister of Defense Shaw Kgathi’s announcement in Parliament that the asset management company was one of the three asset managers mandated with investment of the BDF Trust Fund.
“The Trust Fund Manager is AON Botswana and there are three asset managers mandated with the investment of funds generated by activities of the Fund, namely, Kgori Capital, Stanlib Investment Management Services (Pty) Ltd, and Investec Checkers Asset Management Botswana,” Kgathi had said, adding “The asset managers have invested the Trust Fund money into various portfolios. They have invested in equity, money markets (fixed deposits) and bonds.”
The Selebi Phikwe legislator seemed all the more concerned about one of the asset managers, drawing the Minister’s attention to the unflattering fraudulent history of the company.
“I wanted to find out from you with regards to the Fund Managers as to whether, you have realized that one of the companies that you have mentioned as Fund Managers has been charged with corruption at the Magistrate Court?”
Kgathi however made an attempt to assure Keorapetse that if the records he (Kgathi) had were anything to go by, Kgori Capital’s hand had not touched the cookie jar yet.
“Regarding Kgori,” the Minister sad, “…you asked for the balances. I said over P37 million in First National Bank (FNB) and P87 million Stanbic and it is as at the 5th of April. That has given me confidence to the effect that money could not have been expended in terms of usage. If you look at the time when Kgori started having issues, at least I have derived comfort from then fact that there seems to be money in the account. That does not mean that we cannot take it further in order to find out what is there or what is not there.”
Kgori Capital was in 2018 accused of involvement in the multi- million Pula controversial National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money laundering case. The company was put under a restraining order for an amount in the sum of P10 million by the Lobatse High Court.
The order was made in accordance with Section 35(3) of the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act, Cap 08:03. The Court ruled that “The order relates to the credit amount of P10 million standing to the credit of Investment Account Number: 906 000 149 0058 held by Kgori Capital Botswana Kgori Capital with Stanbic Bank Botswana. The receiver shall take control of all property specified in the order pending the institution and finalization of proceedings for a Civil Penalty Order.”
The case followed money laundering charges laid against former Kgori Capital managing director Bakang Seretse and his associates.