The Directorate of Intelligence and Security Director Isaac Kgosi has washed his hands of Khulacho (Pty) Ltd and the 20 percent fee that businessman Bakang Seretse claims was due to his company.
Seretse is facing money laundering charges after his company, Khulaco was used as fund manager for P230 million that DIS acquired from the National Petroleum Fund that falls under the portfolio of Ministry of Minerals, Green Technology and Energy Security headed by Minister Sadqiue Kebonang.
In a supporting affidavit filed on behalf of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Kgosi states that he only learnt of Khulaco (Pty) Ltd when he asked the former Director of Department of Energy Kenneth Kerekang how DIS could access the P250 million.
“…He in turn gave me the banking details of an entity called Khulaco (Pty) Ltd and asked me to write a letter to the department of Energy authorising the release of the money, which I did,” said Kgosi.
The DIS boss said that he convened a meeting at his office which was attended by himself, Director of Finance Moipedi Nkoane, Deputy Director of Finance, Sehunelo Khunou, Bakang Seretse and Kerekang.
Kgosi says the purpose of the meeting, was for him to introduce the finance team of the DIS to Seretse and Kerekang.
“Bakang Seretse was in the meeting in his capacity as the fund manager and Kenneth Kerekang was in the meeting in his capacity as the Director of Energy,” said Kgosi.
He added that “I can confirm that I did introduce my team to the duo being Bakang Seretse and Kenneth Kerekang. I further confirm that in that meeting we never discussed any charges or fees to be paid to Khulaco (Pty) Ltd, nor was Khulaco (Pty) Ltd ever introduced in that meeting as an entity that my organisation had to deal with in connection to the requested sum of BWP250, 000,000.00.”
According to Kgosi, “we never discussed fees for Khulaco Pty Ltd at 20 percent as alleged at paragraph 67(c) of Bakang Seretse’s answering affidavit or at all. I have seen the letter relating to the 20 %, in the Respondent’s (Seretse) papers, and noted that it was not addressed to us hence my organisation never had to respond to it nor ever responded to it or agreed to its contents.”
But Seretse insists that at the said meeting, “Khulaco charges were discussed and agreed. Same were agreed at 20 % of the entire amounts to be managed. Issues discussed included project governance.”
Seretse said the 20 percent “deduction concerned constituted fees to Khulaco. He said Khulaco had written to the Ministry of Minerals, Green Technology and Energy Security giving notice of its fees and that the payment would have to be upfront.”
Seretse says in his affidavit that on the 18 September, 2017, there was a meeting that was attended by Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) Director, Dr Sethibe, Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA) Chief Executive officer Ruth Seretse, Dr Obakeng. He said the purpose of the meeting was to sensitize the aforesaid individuals and their agencies as stakeholders of the projects and future financial transactions. FIA had complained, I’m told, that in spite of the magnitude of the project they had not been given prior warning regarding disbursements.
“It is therefore gravely dishonest for the Applicants (DPP) and the DCEC, fully cognisant of these facts, to allege money laundering. It is further gravely dishonest for them to attempt to distance the DIS and the Ministry from this transaction and to seek to suggest that Kenneth Kerekang, Botho Leburu and I stole or otherwise fraudulently misappropriated government money in the sum of P230 million.”
He said it baffles his mind why when such a transaction has been known by DCEC and FIA in August 2017 this could be said to have been a money laundering case involving another department of Government which has procured security equipment for the same government.
“It is also to be noted that the Director General of the DIS has not been interviewed by the DCEC or has he laid a complaint of any missing or unlawful transactions involving a company in Israel, said Seretse.