Sunday, May 29, 2022

Rantshabeng wants permanent stay of prosecution

The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs, Victor Rantshabeng, who is facing corruption charges, has made an application to the High Court, asking him to permanently stay his case.

He says prosecution has failed to try him within reasonable time.

Offences for which he has been charged with were allegedly committed in February 2003.

He also wants the Court to direct that the proceedings before the Magistrate Court be permanently stayed for violating his rights to be heard within reasonable time in terms of Section 10 of the constitution of Botswana and that he be discharged and acquitted on all charges before the Magistrate.

Corruption charges against him are that he has failed to disclose his interest in Universal Builders a company from which he was buying two houses at a time when he was also advising former Minister of Lands, Margret Nasha, to reduce land prices sold to the same construction company.

In his affidavit, Rantshabeng, states that he has no interest directly or indirectly with Universal Builders and that he did not knowingly fail to disclose the nature of such interest.

Rantshabeng said that the case relates to the Lesetedi Land Commission but that before the Commission, he had had a visit by DCEC officers in 2004.

According to Rantshabeng, former Director of DCEC, Tymon Katlholo, has in the past told Lesetedi Land Commission that eight plots belonging to Sayeed Jamali had been subjected to investigations and that corruption could not be proved and, as a result, there would be no prosecution.

He adds that two years later several officers at the Department of Lands gave evidence on the investigations and a statement was taken from him on March 2007.

He says as a result, evidential material upon which DPP intends to rely on has always been available and within reach.

Such evidence, he said, is in the form of copies of deeds relating to his plots, which are public and have always been within possession and control of the Attorney General.

Further, Rantshabeng adds that there were no compelling reasons for delay in commencing charges against him, charges which he said are derived from the findings of the Lesetedi Commission, which handed its report to former President Festus Mogae in 2004.

Not being prosecuted within reasonable time, he said, has resulted in impairment of his security because the delay has subjected him to disruption of his family life, social life, work and loss of privacy.

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