A South African magistrate is on August 4 expected to rule on whether Botswana is an associate state of South Africa as claimed by lawyers representing Gaarekwe Rabana, the former Botswana Housing Corporation Deputy General Manager, whom Botswana wants extradited back to the country to stand trial for corruption.
This is according to a Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) lawyer who attended the hearing in South Africa last week.
According to the lawyer, who declined to be named, Rabana’s lawyers are adamant that Botswana is an associate state of South Africa whilst the DPP’s view is that this is not true and that Botswana is a foreign state to South Africa.
The lawyer said that they regard this argument as nothing but another delaying tactic that is being played to avoid Rabana’s extradition to Botswana.
“This argument clearly will not hold and they know it but they are using it just to buy time and prevent Rabana’s extradition,” said the lawyer.
The lawyer also said that they are still hopeful that they will win in the end and Rabana will be extradited to Botswana.
Rabana is suspected to have received bribes in regard to the awarding of BHC tenders to build BHC houses in the early 80s.The company he corruptly awarded tenders to is alleged to have paid for that by bribing him with air tickets for himself and family to destinations in Europe and North America.
Rabana absconded when the state was about to close its case as he had all along been on bail. It then took years to trace him in South Africa.
Rabana is not the only person currently fighting extradition from South Africa to Botswana.
The other suspects currently fighting extradition are South Africans Tebogo Masifa and Khumbozo Mlotsa.
They are suspected to have played a role in the P5 million armed robbery at the Sir Seretse Khama Airport in 2006.
A Botswana citizen, Jeremiah Modise, is currently serving a 10-year jail term for his part in the robbery whilst two other suspects are still on the run.