In recent weeks, I have noted with dismay and a degree of consternation the unfounded allegations of corruption, peddled in the House of Parliament and outside, directly and indirectly at me personally and in my official capacity as the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security on matters affecting tenders.
The vilification and condemnation of me as a corrupt person holding public office has also been carried in stories in the newspapers and radio stations without any evidence to support these damning allegations. I now place it on record that these allegations are rubbish, false and without justification.
They are symptomatic of a political witch-hunt being pursued in some quarters against me by deluded individuals – some even from my very own Political Party.
At the very least – for any responsible grown-up to be taken seriously – and here I include, Honourable Dumelang Saleshando (who has been at the centre of the spear-heading of these hypocritical falsehoods), they should have presented a case to the relevant authorities, of course supported by tangible set of facts and concrete evidence to sustain these otherwise serious and potentially damaging allegations.
Instead, what we have witnessed is a trial by media on the one hand, and on the other, an extreme case of abuse of Parliamentary privilege by Mr. Saleshando, used as a springboard to launch unsubstantiated gossip, rumour-mongering and malicious attacks on my integrity.
It is correct that I am a Member of Parliament and a Cabinet Minister, and I have not claimed that I am above the law. However, I am also a citizen of Botswana. I have rights and one of such rights – is the right to protection of the law, i.e. the right not to be falsely accused, vilified and maligned without evidence and without any due process.
I am not a director of RFT Botswana (Pty) Ltd or part of its day-to day management currently, and even when I was during the early term of my appointment to the office of Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, I have not been involved myself in any corrupt practices – and I have not influenced anyone with regard to award of tenders or any other activity between Government and RFT.
At this point, I must mention that I have taken legal advice and indeed my own counsel in these matters. At the beginning of this campaign of the pursuit of character assassination against me – I was of the view that it is something I could simply shrug off.
However, as it turns out I underestimated the vicious and evil motives of the sponsors of this campaign.
I wish it to be noted that I am going to have the individuals concerned (including print and radio media) held accountable for defaming my character.
I should also state that I have been informed that the current Directors and Management of RFT have, of their own volition, and without compulsion from any external party, written to the Directorate of Economic Crime and Corruption (“DCEC”), requesting that an investigation be conducted into their affairs.
Dikgakgamatso Ndelu Seretse (MP)
Dated 25 March 2010