Friday, July 19, 2024

Pule denies flying away with “Butterfly” evidence

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Mabuse Pule says claims he is not co-operating with State over how and why Welheminah Maswabi’s alleged multiple passports were issued are being blown out of proportion.

The former Director of Immigration and Citizenship suspects a third force is out there to tarnish his political career.

Pule confirmed to this publication that he was called twice to explain why Maswabi was issued multiple passports.

“It is true that I was once called to give my side of the story as to how the lady in question was issued multiple passports by the department by then,” says Pule.

He explained that sometime last year he was called to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) offices where he found a team of prosecutors and investigators together with the director general of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Peter Magosi.

He said he went through an oral interview in which he explained fully what he knows. “I truly told them everything that I knew at that time,” says Pule. He declined to reveal what he told the investigation team suggesting that the matter is still under investigation therefore it would be improper for him to discuss such issues with the media.

“Personally, I thought the oral interview went smoothly. I was happy about the professional conduct that they displayed during the interview,” says Pule.

He said in the same year, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) chief investigating officer Jako Hubona came to his office at the National Assembly and gave him a questionnaire to answer.

“I went through all the questions and responded to them accordingly. Hubona came back to collect the questionnaire. That was the last time I saw any law enforcement agency,” says Pule. He indicated that he is ready to testify before the court of law if requested to do so but at the moment nobody has approached him.

Pule said he believes that they might be a third force behind the matter to tarnish his political career and he is ready to protect his political image. “What worries and hurt me most is that there seems to be belief that I personally connived with the lady in question and that is not true,” he says, adding that as far as he recalls he has never seen any application for the lady in question.

Pule said it is common that a covert operative can be given more than one passport if they are on particular assignment therefore he wonders why this matter is being blown out of proportion. He revealed that he has organised a meeting with the vice president Slumber Tsogwane to share with him about the Maswabi passport matter.

“It is critical that I share with the VP so that he understands the crack of the matter rather than relying on the media,” he says.

Meanwhile The Telegraph is in possession of documents relating to a stand-off between the DCEC and DPP. The DPP says there is need to establish whether covert passports are the norm. In the event that it is a norm, establish the rules and procedures that regulate it. Broadhurst Magistrate recently dropped a charge of Financing Terrorism against Maswabi.

The State is now left with a charge of living beyond means and possession of unexplained property. A savingram, dated 18 January 2021, from DPP Director, Stephen Tiroyakgosi, addressed to the DCEC Director General, Tymon Katholo, pointed out a team from DPP led by Israel held a meeting with its counterpart at DCEC to map the way forward. 

Tiroyakgosi informed Katholo that an investigation surrounding the creation of the passport should be carried out. “It is important to have a statement from the former Director of Immigration (Deputy Speaker Mabuse Pule) to establish the role he played in enabling the issuing of these passports,” said Tiroyakgosi. 

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