Sunday, April 18, 2021

‘Not Guilty’-Seretse Pleads

Former Defence, Justice and Security minister Dikgakgamatso Seretse has pleaded not guilty to a graft charge of conflict of interest.

Seretse appeared before the before Village Chief magistrate Barnabas Nyamazabo yesterday for mention.

Seretse is accused of failing to disclose to President Ian Khama that he had an interest in RFT Botswana PTY (Ltd), a company he co-owned with his Wife Sandra Seretse. The said company went on to win a big contract to supply surveillance equipment to the Botswana Police Service, the department that fell under supervision Seretse when he was a cabinet minister.

Seretse’s lawyers, Collins Newman and Company had launched an application before magistrate Nyamazabo seeking for an order compelling the state to furnish them with cabinet records.

The defence also want an opportunity to inspect cabinet records among others cabinet minutes and cabinet memos at around the time when the offence is said to have been committed.

However the state has maintained that it has given the defence all the relevant documents for the case and further maintains that all other documents that the defence wants to have access to all irrelevant as most of the defence’s concerns are addressed in the charge sheet.

Appearing for Seretse, the lead lawyer foe defence, Parks Tafa said that they wanted the trial to commence as soon as possible.Tafa said that they were not interested in delaying the trial adding that it is however important to underscore the fact that they had not been furnished with all the necessary documents.

Opposing the application state prosecutor Rahim Khan said that the charge was very clear on what charge Seretse is being asked to answer to. Khan argued that for purposes of the State’s case the cabinet records and minutes were not relevant.

Nyamazabo has indicated that he will deliver a ruling on the matter on October 26.

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