Monday, December 6, 2021

State demands deputy speaker to explain “Butterfly” passports

The Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) has instructed the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) to summon Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mabuse Pule to explain how and why Welheminah Maswabi obtained multiple passports.

Sunday Standard is in possession of documents relating to a stand-off between the DCEC and DPP. The DPP says there is need to establish the status of on the way about (sic) of the passport and whether covert passports are a norm within the Directorate of Intelligence services (DIS). 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. 

At the time of issuing the questionable passport under the name Lorato Hilton, the current Deputy Speaker was Director of Immigrations. Tiroyakgosi also asked DCEC investigating officers to establish why Maswabi allegedly used the names Daisy Warren to secure property finance from one of the banks. 

“I’m informed that it was agreed at the meeting the DPP provide information pertaining to further investigation that is required to be carried out in order to have the case at hand ready for court,” said Tiroyakgosi. He said, under listed are tasks that have been advised and agreed to be undertaken by your officers; Areas to be covered; the investigation surrounding the passport.” 

Tiroyakgosi said there was need to summon the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Mabuse Pule to establish the role he played in enabling the issuing of this passport “There are witnesses who testify that they were instructed to override the system in order to be able to make the passport in the names of Lorato Hilton. It is alleged that the passport was not handed over to the current Director General-DIS at the time when he was taking over the office.” It emerges in the documents and meetings between representatives of the three agencies that the DCEC accused the prosecution and the DIS of putting the horse before the cart by prematurely laying charges against Maswabi before concluding investigations. 

Tiroyakgosi said it was alleged the name Lorato Hilton was also used to open a local company called Local Matter Pty Ltd suspected to have been used to launder money. He requested that an investigation be carried out.  He added: “It will support the evidence whether or not the passport was used for covert purposes.”He informed the DCEC to conduct investigation relating to the offence of possession of unexplained property, Tiroyakgosi’s list include a house in Tawana ward, Phakalane, Extension 10, Metsimotlhabe (sold), Mogoditshane, Artesia, Nkoyaphiri and Block 7.  The list of property also includes a Toyota Fortuner, a Navara, a Toyota Fortuner, a BMW and another Toyota Fortuner. 

“Currently it has been established that the accused person’s know source of income has always been her salary from her employment at DIS. It is therefore imperative to establish whether indeed he (sic) owns or control the above listed property because if it is established that he (sic) does then it would be incumbent upon to demonstrate how she could afford such properties given her known source of income,” he said. He added that “Take note that the file we received from you does not include witnesses’ statements to speak to the documents, may those be obtained.” 

Tiroyakgosi also asked the DCEC investigating officers to establish why Maswabi allegedly used the names Daisy Warren to secure property finance from one of the banks. 

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