BY MPHO KELEBOGE
Bakang Seretse’s house which is under the radar of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) surveillance has been placed under the hammer.
First National Bank of Botswana (FNBB) apparently is after Seretse for failure to pay the bank a mortgage loan.
Submitting his arguments before the Court of Appeal judge, Ngakaagae prayed for the court to relax the restraining order to allow Seretse to enjoy access and use his house.
He said it is painful to allow the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) to throw Seretse out into the streets while he has a house to stay.
“The DPP and the DCEC approach using PICA Act is uncalled for because the house in question located in extension 11 is under writ of execution and is fighting with the bank to normalize the situation. He is indebted and this is prejudicial on his side as opposed to the state,” argued Ngakaagae.
In his submissions before Judge Monametsi Gaongalelwe, Ngakaagae asked the court for a stay of execution to be granted on behalf of his client’s favour.
He argued that to balance prejudice, the judge should look into all factors especially that the house will not lose value arguing that it could only lose value if the state allows the house to be vacant, with no one staying in it because it will become a ‘sepoko’ ghost.
He said house is valued at 6,500 million Pula. He argued the value of house is more than that of eviction and prayed for the court to relax the restraining orders imposed by the lower court (High Court).
“The eviction is not preservation but rather a deprivation. If my client stops paying for the mortgaged loan because of the harassment from law enforcement agencies, the bank will reposess it. This will be prejudicial on his side because he was not allowed to use and enjoy his house, “said Ngakaagae
Ngakaagae asked the court to allow Seretse to stay in his house for justice to prevail and not to wait for 120 days for the restraining order to fall away.
State Prosecutor Ernest Mosete dismissed Ngakaagae’s submission and asked the court to dismiss his application with costs.
He said Seretse’s house was bought from proceeds of crime from the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) and asked the court to allow the DCEC to carry its investigation on the matter.
He said the threats of homelessness had caused the matter to be brought as urgent.
He told the court that more than one million Pula, which was part of the money from the NPF, was used to renovate Seretse’s house.
“This property was bought with proceeds of Crime. Under the Assert and Forfeiture Act we pray for the court to refuse to loosen the restraining order,” said Mosete.
He said in terms of section 43 of the Proceeds and Crime Act, the court may include a variation order, restraining order and other conditions deemed appropriate as it is the responsibility of the respondent (Seretse) to apply for a variation order but not before the court of Appeal but before the same judge at the High Court.
Judge Monametsi Gaongalelwe is to deliver judgment on the matter on the 15th of February 2019.