Monday, October 26, 2020

State enlisted Manewe recuses himself in NPF case

Busang Manewe has recused himself from a case in which the Attorney General and the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) enlisted him to prosecute Bakang Seretse, Kgori Capital and others in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) alleged corruption case.

Appearing before a panel of three judges, Justices Matlhogonolo Phuthego, Abednico Tafa and Christopher Gabanagae lawyer Unoda Mack representing Kebonang brothers, accused Manewe of being “heavily conflicted” and requested him to recuse himself from representing government.

Mack told the court that he wrote a letter dated 14 August 2020 advising Bogopa, Manewe, Tobetsa and Company that Manewe is “heavily conflicted” because he also represented Kgori Capital (Pty) Ltd – a company which is central to some of the damning allegations against his clients (Kebonang brothers).

He said the answering affidavit by DPP in the matter accuses his clients being Kebonang brothers of corruption, collusion and theft and these are the same people who a charged alongside Kgori Capital – a company represented by Manewe.

When referring to the letter he wrote Mack told the court that it is surprising and embarrassing given the fact that Manewe represents Kgori Capital and now wants to represent government to prosecute his clients.

He said there is also a case that is pending before Magistrate court which is based on the same allegations in which his client is charged together with Manewe’s clients (Kgori Capital) and Manewe as a professional has been appearing for Kgori Capital.

“Without delving much detail Manewe is heavily conflicted and as such he cannot act on behalf of adversaries in the same matter,” said Mack.

In his defense Manewe said he is not conflicted and that he never consulted Kebonang brothers about his decision.

Judge Tafa then intervened and told him that Mack never said you consulted but he said you represented Kgori Capital which is also central to the corruption allegations leveled against his client. 

Manewe then asked for an adjournment to consult with his clients (AG and DPP) and the court then ordered for the matter to be adjourned. When they reappeared in the afternoon (14:30hrs), Manewe then recused himself even though he maintained that he was not conflicted.

He said he just recused himself to avoid the matter to be delayed by making some applications in defending himself.

The case was then postponed to the 17th September 2020, when the parties will argue the matter, which Kebonang brothers want the charges against them set aside.

Grenoh Begane from Attorney general and Wasson Manchwe from the DPP were instructing attorneys for Bogopa, Manewe and Tobetsa Company. 

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Don’t rule out Trump just yet

For reasons that are clearly sentimental and not backed by evidence on the ground, Africans have a penchant to back the Democrats...