Thursday, August 6, 2020

Morupisi pleads not guilty to corruption charges

Former Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi on Monday pleaded not guilty to corruption charges amid amendment of charges levelled against him by the prosecution. 

His wife Pinny also pleaded not guilty to corruption and money laundering charges. 

The original charge sheet shows that the duo was initially charged with abuse of office and acceptance of bribery among others. 

The couple’s trial was expected to commence on Monday but was postponed to 14 July after Dikgang Publishing Company successfully applied to the High Court to have it broadcasted live. 

Priscilla Israel of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) applied for postponement of the trial in view of the application that was brought by Dikgang Publishing Company to allow the media to broadcast the proceedings. 

Morupisi’s lawyer, Busang Manewe of Bogopa and Manewe Attorneys did not object to the DPP application to have the matter postponed. 

“Thirty-one witnesses have been lined up by the prosecution. We shall be admitting 22 of these witnesses,” said Manewe.  The Court also heard that Morupisi and his wife’s charge sheet has been amended. 

According to the latest charge sheet in Count One, Morupisi has been charged with corruption. 

Particulars of the offence are that Morupisi whilst employed as Director of Directorate of Public Service Management serving as a public officer who held the position board chairman for the Botswana Public Officer’s Pension Fund (BPOPF) in 2014  without the final resolution of the Board and in abuse of his public office as chairman of BPOPF whilst the board was on suspension, corruptly signed a contract with Capital Management Botswana to administer the BPOPF Fund as private equity managers and in the process obtained valuable consideration for himself and his wife’s company R Group (PTY) Ltd. 

In Count Two the former Permanent Secretary to the President is also charged with corruption. It states that Morupisi allegedly whilst employed as Permanent Secretary to the President and being Public Officer who held the position of board chairman for the BPOPF Fund and having signed a contract with Capital Management Botswana on behalf of BPOPF to administer the BPOPF funds as private equity managers without the final resolution of the Board and whilst the board was on suspension in 2017 acting together and in concert with Pinny Morupisi in her personal capacity as the Director of R7 Group (Pty) Ltd received a valuable consideration to wit, a gold Toyota Landcruiser  pick up valued at R630 988.99 for himself and his wife’s company, R7 Group Pty Ltd. 

In Count Three, still charged with corruption, Morupisi, Pinny and R7 Group in 2017, acting together and in concert received and converted to their personal use a Toyota Land Cruiser Pick Up valued at R630 988.99 bought from South Africa whilst they knew or had reasonable grounds for knowing or suspecting that the said Landcruiser was derived or bought in whole or in part directly or indirectly from the commission of the offence to wit corruption by a public officer.

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