Saturday, September 19, 2020

Ruling on Rabana’s extradition hearing expected on February 26

A South African court is on February 26th expected to make a ruling in the long running case in which the Botswana government is seeking the extradition of former Botswana Housing Corporation Deputy General Manager, Gaolekwe Rabana, to Botswana to face corruption charges.

Rabana fled Botswana close to ten years ago while facing corruption charges in connection with the awarding of tenders for the construction of BHC houses in Block 5.

He is said to have accepted bribes and later awarded a tender to a construction company for the construction of those Block 5 houses when, in fact, the company did not qualify for the award.

The state alleges that Rabana was in return given air tickets for himself and his family to fly to Europe and America in an all expenses paid trip that included accommodation in luxury hotels.

Rabana is also said to have intentionally excluded high ranking public officers who were otherwise expected to have partaken in the tender adjudication process.

Rabana fled the country in the middle of the trial, while the state was left with only two witnesses to give evidence. The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, which was spearheading the trial, later set out to find him, and finally traced him to Johannesburg where he is reported to be residing with his family.

Rabana later refused to come back to Botswana, and he is currently embroiled in a long running extradition trial with Botswana government officials, on which judgment is expected on February 26th.

Former Gaborone Chief Magistrate, Leonard Sechele, presided over the case while the current Director of Public Prosecutions, Leatile Dambe, was prosecuting and Abel Modimo defending.
Currently, Thato Dibeela of DPP is handling the matter.

If Rabana is finally extradited, he will be one of several suspects who have been extradited from South Africa in recent times.

Among them is Benson Keganne, currently on death row for the murder of a Phitshane woman, Gloria Mahowe.

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