Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama is unlikely to return to Botswana before the 2024 general elections and is expected to challenge his extradition in South African courts should Botswana government apply for his repatriation.
Khama who faces 13 counts of unlawful possession of firearms did not show up in court on Thursday because he had not been served with summons.
The court accepted the explanation by Khama’s lawyers and postponed the case to June 6 to allow for a summons to be served on him. If Khama does not appear in court on June 6 then Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) is expected to apply for his extradition from South Africa.
Indications are that Khama will not show up for his scheduled court date and is confident that his case is not strong enough for Botswana’s extradition request to succeed.
In an interview with the South African Daily Maverick this week, Khama is quoted saying
“You have to prove in court you have a case to answer,” ….. “and if someone is in a country for some reason or the other, fearing for their life or persecution, the country where they are in has to satisfy itself that it is a genuine case.”
Khama said he received a report from a “credible” private security company which confirmed the information he’d been getting from people he trusts in Botswana, “that there was an attempt by Masisi to eliminate me before the 2024 elections”. This, he claimed, was the reason he was charged and why he will be expected to return home – something he said he would not do.
Khama is charged alongside former Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) Director General Isaac Kgosi who is charged with 20 counts of illegal possession of firearms, suspended Commissioner of Police Keabetswe Makgophe and Deputy Permanent Secretary Bruno Paledi.