Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Lobatse High Court set for Nchindo appeal case

Lobatse High Court judge Stephen Gaongalelwe is on 13 and 14 of June expected to hear arguments in a high-profile case in which Garvas Nchindo and former Debswana employee, Joe Matome, are appealing against their conviction for corruption.

The duo were last year convicted by the then chief magistrate Lot Moroka.

Moroka is now Judge of the High Court.

Amongst their main reasons for appeal are that the former President, Festus Mogae, could not remember whether Matome had attended a presentation the state alleges was made to influence Mogae to support allocation of plot 55720 to the Tourism Development Consortium (TDC).

They submit in their appeal that Mogae could only recall that the presentation was made by some white men. Further, they submit that Moroka in his judgment failed to take due care of the fact that the process for allocation of plot 55720 was finished in January 2000, six months before the presentation to Mogae.

Also, they argue, Mogae could not have supported allocation of plot 55720 or played any role in its allocation even if he had been minded to do so.

Moreover, they submit that neither Mogae nor any other member of the Cabinet, save for Jacob Nkate, played any role in the allocation of plot 55720.

Nkate’s evidence, they further submit, was not taken into consideration. In addition, they argue that Moroka’s opinion on Nkate was not supported by documented evidence before Court.

Another facet of their argument is that all officials involved in the allocation of plot 55720 to TDC testified that the process was detailed, thorough and well considered.

Matome was sentenced to a total of three years whilst Nchindo got two years wholly suspended. Nchindo’s family businesses of Galconda and TDC were also fined.

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