Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Your article titled “Khama and the bandits” refers

The Editor,

I find it somewhat sad that journalists such as yourselves did not take the trouble of researching the “facts” of your article. Whereas I do understand that you made use of David van Wyk’s research and a so-called former member of Executive Outcomes, the onus nevertheless rests with the journalist to check the facts, regardless of the source or the motives of the source.

As the founder and chairman of Executive Outcomes, I regret to inform you that many of Van Wyk’s claims are both fictitious and facetious. I never served in the NIS ÔÇô let alone its so-called Botswana desk – nor was I awarded a contract by Debswana for any such alleged involvement. Indeed, had I been an NIS member, it is highly unlikely that Debswana would have awarded me such a contract.

The “former EO source” you make use of ought to know that Executive Outcomes (EO) closed its doors in 1998 ÔÇô and after the EO contract was suspended by Debswana, never again worked in Botswana ÔÇô let alone train your Special Forces. His further claims that MTS and EO apparently merged in 2000 beg me to ask why you did not ask your source to prove such mischief as EO had by then long-since closed its doors.

A simple check with the Registrar of Companies in South Africa would enable you to establish exactly when EO was started and when it closed its doors. It is indeed sad that you never saw fit to check even a basic error in your article, let alone the more serious ones.

I shall not bore you with the numerous other errors contained in Van Wyk’s and the so-called former member of EO allegations.

As journalists who have a responsibility to inform the public with facts, you have succeeded rather in misinforming them. It is sad to state the obvious: you have been hoodwinked by unscrupulous sources.

Sincerely,
Eeben Barlow

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.