April 11 2010: President Ian Khama has deposed an affidavit in favour of the late Louis Nchindo, apparently stating that there was nothing wrong with how Tourism Development Consortium (TDC) acquired its piece of land, an affidavit filed by Nchindo’s lawyers has revealed.
In their paper, which opposes the state’s move to freeze developments or allocations of Plots at TDC’s Setlhowa plot, the defence contends that the state was forced to withdraw a charge against Nchindo and other accused because the count did not have Khama’s support. Khama was listed as one of the witness in the charge. Interestingly his affidavit is yet to be filed.
At the time the late Nchindo and Matome were accused of deceiving the then Vice President Khama during Mogae’s tenure about a company named TDC and its objectives.
According to Garvas Nchindo, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) also had to accept that the accused had access to the President for purposes of opposing the restraining order application.
“…his Excellency the President would, if anything, be a witness for the accused,” the affidavit reads in part.
Collins & Newman, who were instructed by Nchindo, also argues that the state has no case because former Minister Boometswe Mokgothu states that the presentation made to the Mogae cabinet was not intended for him to approve anything or for TDC to acquire its property.
The defence, through the use of affidavits filed by ministers Phandu Skelemani, Dikgakgamatso Seretse and Daniel Kwelagobe, further states that the state has no case in seeking for a restraining order because cabinet ministers during Mogae’s era were never deceived by the late Nchindo.
In its replying papers, the DPP, through Chief Prosecution Counsel Kgositsiele Ngakaagae, states that it only withdrew the count 3, which charge Khama was suppose to be a witness on, to avoid politicizing the trial. The State says that the charge flew out of the window because it wanted to protect Khama.
“On the contrary the count was withdrawn in order to protect His Excellency from the mudslinging that the defendants had taken to in trying to divert attention from the real issues by making His Excellency the centre of the trial.”
According to the DPP, withdrawing count 3 robbed the accused of an ‘opportunity to politicize the case’
The DPP has indicated that it will call all former ministers, among them Mokgothu, Kwelagobe, and Jacob Nkate.
“It should be noted that Mokgothu will be called to the witness stand and will be put on the spot with respect to his denial vis-├á-vis the documentary evidence in the docket relied upon in ………No witness will get away without explaining their role even if it would take the extreme measure of such witness being declared hostile and vigorously cross examined by the prosecution,” states Ngaakagae.