Thursday, June 4, 2020

Morupisi to step down following BPOPF scandal

The Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi is expected to resign next week after the Directorate of public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) decided to press criminal charges against him.

Morupisi is implicated in the Capital Management Botswana (CMB) corruption scandal which has robbed the Public Officers Pension Fund of more than P200 million

It emerged during proceedings at a recent Kempton Park Magistrates Court (Johannesburg) that Morupisi was a “central figure” in the BPOPF heist.

The lawyer acting for CMB majority shareholder Timothy Marsland in his extradition bail hearing, Advocate Charles Thompson on Friday queried why “two role players” in the scandal, CMB Managing Director Rapula Okaile and Permanent secretary to the President Carter Morupisi had not been arrested and charged.

Okaile has already been charged for his alleged role in the multi-million pula corruption dealings while the DPP and the DCEC are putting finishing touches to Morupisi’s charge sheet.

The Sunday Standard has turned up information that the DCEC has finalised its docket on Morupisi and had recommended that he should be charged even before the call was made by Marsland’s lawyers two weeks ago. It is understood that during an interview with the DCEC Morupisi indicated that he would resign to allow the process to run smoothly.

Marsland’s lawyer, advocate Thompson argued that his client was being made the scapegoat because he is a foreigner. He pointed out that according to section 11 sub section 6 of the South African Extradition Act, the Minister can turn down an extradition request if the subject of the request is being prejudiced for reasons of nationality “and that is the case here, blame the foreigner.”

He further argued that when Marsland was arrested at OR Tambo airport, he was not fleeing the country, but was on a business engagement.

The lawyer acting for Botswana in the extradition bail proceedings, Advocate Pieter Schutte however argued that whether Morupisi is arrested and charged or not was not material to the extradition application. “Whether the authourities decide to prosecute or not to prosecute Morupisi is up to them.” He argued that it was clear that there was a diversion of BPOPF money for purposes not related to the stated draw down and that a prosecutable offence had been committed by Marsland and that this was not related to the arrest or not of Morupisi and Okaile.

He further revealed that Marsland’s extradition was currently being processed through diplomatic channels.

The proceedings which are due to continue on August 2nd however did not go into the details of Morupisi’s involvement in the corruption scandal.

Morupisi is currently suing the Sunday Standard following a story in which the paper reported that the trail of the BPOPF missing P 200 million has gone cold, safe for a few hundred thousand pula that lead to Carter Morupisi’s wife.

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