Sunday, May 26, 2024

Motsepe on the run from SA cops over Botswana alleged money laundering

South African mining magnate Bridgette Motsepe is reported to be running and hiding from the South Africa Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) which is investigating a number of tranches she transferred to Avante Security in Botswana between 2018 and 2019.

The Hawks Commercial Crimes Unit in Pretoria wrote to Motsepe on January 29 asking her to furnish them with details of relations between her company Mmakau Mining and Botswana based Avante Security Services.

The Hawks claim that between 30 November 2018 and 22 March 2019 she transferred six tranches of just under R3 million to a company known as Avante Security Services.

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) is also reported to be investigating Avante Security Services for possible money laundering.

Motsepe who is South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa’s sister-in-law is however reported to be hiding from the Hawks, touching off a political storm.

The south African official opposition Democratic Alliance issued a statement last condemning Motsepe’s apparent contempt of the Hawks.

“Motsepe-Radebe has gone to ground and is pretending that the raft of questions from the Hawks into this latest allegation, simply need no response. If you or I had treated this unit with such contempt, I have no doubt we would be viewing the bars of a cell from the nasty side”, read part of the statement issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard, Member of Parliament and DA Shadow Minister of State.

The statement further reads: “Let us be clear. No one, no matter who one’s relatives are, is above the law. It is not for Motsepe-Radebe to determine that this should be ‘dealt with diplomatically’. Who exactly does she think she is?

The latest claim is that the R3 million was used to fund the political campaign of one Pelonomi Venton-Moitoi, who tried to unseat the sitting president in 2018. The claim is that between 30 November 2018 and 22 March 2019 she transferred six tranches of just under R3 million to a company known as Avante Security Services.”

Last year, South Africa’s Minister of State Security Ayanda Dlodlo was scheduled to meet Botswana officials allegedly to discuss Motsepe’s money laundering case. The visit was however called off under unclear circumstances.

The DA claims in its statement that, “It was clear that the President was the one who sent this country’s State Security Minister to Botswana to try and strong-arm their President into dropping charges of money laundering and the financing of a coup attempt against Motsepe-Radebe.”

“We know the President was in charge of the ANC’s Cadre Deployment Committee, but this is a step too far. Using a Minister to try and protect one’s sister-in-law, then sitting on your hands and looking the other way when she ignores the questions of the very entity the ANC created to replace the Scorpions, is a disgusting abuse of power.”

The story of Avante Security Services link to Bridgette Motsepe was first reported by Sunday Standard in 2019. At the time, Bridgette Motsepe Radebe’s lawyers, Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs Inc threatened to sue the Sunday Standard. The law firm confirmed that Mmakau Mining had paid an undisclosed amount to Avante Security in Gaborone, but disputed the amount stated by the Sunday Standard.

This followed the newspaper’s report that the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) had frozen Avante Security Services bank accounts in Botswana on suspicion that the company was being used by Motsepe-Radebe to launder money for Pelonomi Venson – Moitoi’s presidential campaign.

This was after FIA received reports of suspicious transactions between Mmakau Mining and Avante Security Services. Bridgette Motsepe Radebe is the founder and Executive Chairperson of Mmakau Mining PTY (Ltd).

In their letter of demand, the South African law firm claimed that the payments made by Mmakau Mining to Avante Security Services was for consultancy services.

In a subsequent press conference, Motsepe Radebe berated the Sunday Standard for spreading lies and misinformation about her and thanked the South African media for always reporting responsibly.

Avante Security Services is also linked to two of South Africa’s military industrial and mining complex wheeler-dealers.

Sunday Standard investigations revealed that South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) veteran and alleged covert funding mule, Paul Langa was appointed director of Avante Security on 11th September 2018. A year earlier, Langa was fingered in the South African court as a covert funding mule in the ANC’s black op in which the party planned to spend R50 million on a secret campaign targeting opposition parties in the 2016 local government elections.

According to court report Langa’s South African company Zonkizizwe Investments, was used to collect money from private donors and pass it on to the ANC War Room.

Langa has also been linked to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) under former Director General Isaac Kgosi.

Kgosi Kgolo of Bakgatla tribe, Kgafela Kgafela in May 2013 wrote to the then Minister of Justice, Ramadeluka Seretse complaining that Paul Langa was working with Isaac Kgosi to illegally abduct and deport him back to Botswana.

Another South African businessman who is part of the military industrial and mining complex Lazarus Modjane Mbethe was also appointed director of Avante Security Services Botswana on 11th September 2018.

Mbethe and Langa were both named in a 2013 scandal in which South African military involvement in the Central African Republic was exposed as a front for ANC-linked deals.

According to the Mail&Guardian, Mbethe and Langa were directors in a company called Baga-Moyo which was set up to exploit opportunities in the Central African Republic (CAR).

The pair was in partnership with former South African spy chief Billy Masetlha.

The Mail&Guardian further revealed that Langa, Mbethe, and Masetlha, appear as directors in two other shelf companies, Evening Star Trading 665 and Universal Pulse Trading 117, both set up in November 2006.

Their business dealings in the Central African Republic (CAR) bombed into a big scandal after a number of South African peace keeping soldiers were killed during the CAR operation.

Avante Security also provided private security for former president Lt Gen Ian Khama.

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