Tsetsele Fantan, a cousin of President Ian Khama, was the chairperson of a three member committee that probed allegations that Member of Parliament Botsalo Ntuane, together with Kabo Morwaeng and Sidney Pilane, colluded with opposition parties to have their choices appointed as specially elected MPs, it has been revealed.
Ms Fantan also sits in the Tribunal of DIS (Directorate of Intelligence and Security).
Following allegations of sabotage within the ruling party, President Ian Khama secretly appointed a committee to probe into allegations that some members of the Barata-Phathi faction of the BDP had plotted to team up with the opposition in an effort to rope in Gomolemo Motswaledi and Sidney Pilane as specially elected members of parliament.
Confronted by Sunday Standard this week Fantan confirmed that indeed she had chaired a committee that probed the allegations of party members teaming up with the opposition.
“Yes, it’s true; I chaired the committee and it was made up of three people,” she stated.
She further revealed that her co-investigators were lawyer Basimane Bogopa and Bonnie Thebenyane who is Group Secretary of Debswana Diamond Company.
Fantan said that she could not say much about the report except that “it has been forwarded to the person who appointed us.”
She, however, revealed that her committee had carried out several interviews before coming up with the report.
Before their parting with the ruling party, BDP activists, now with the opposition Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD), had raised concern about the secrecy of the committee and accused Khama of using DIS to foster a partisan agenda.
Quizzed on whether her role as an investigator in a BDP committee did not raise perceptions that DIS could after all have been involved in the probe, Fantan had this to say, “I don’t work for DIS, the role of the tribunal is clear,” she told the Sunday Standard.
She said that if anyone that was probed were to complain about DIS in relation to the BDP saga, it would only be fair for her to recuse herself.
“If someone came and complained it would be normal to recuse myself,” she said.
This week the Botswana Democratic Party’s Head Office also stated that there was nothing wrong with appointing Fantan to chair a committee that investigated BDP members.
In a separate interview, BDP’s executive secretary Dr Batlang Serema, defended Fantan’s appointment saying there was no conflict of interest.
“Are we saying those other committee members who did the probe also work for DIS?” he asked rhetorically.
Close sources have revealed BDP central committee members have not had access to the report prepared by Fantan and his committee even as the report was the basis for the charges that ultimately saw Ntuane, Pilane and Morwaeng sacked from the BDP.