Court documents show how deported Zambian national Jerry Chitube who has links with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) used Botswana Government to defraud South African companies.
This emerged in an affidavit by a South African businesswoman Florah Ntshadi Mokgobo Manqele revealing how Chitube used the Office of the President, Ministry of Education and Attorney General to defraud her company.
Details emerging from the documents also show that Chitube who claimed to be an employee from the Office of the President informed Manqele that there was a tender at the Ministry of Education where they needed 20 000 laptops.
┬áMokgobo said she travelled to Botswana where Chitube had arranged that she meets a certain Peter Mogorosi. Mogorosi told her that there was a P5 million Refundable Performance Bond that had to be paid by all bidders.
“I then told him that I had no such an amount of money. Chitube then assured me that he would borrow me the money which he would ask his dad to assist him. On Monday 31 January 2012 I received a call from the Ministry of Education in Botswana (Mogorosi) informing me that I was awarded the tender. I then sent Chitube to pick up the (confirmation) letter for me which he later faxed to him,” she said.
Manqele said on 14 February 2011, Chitube faxed her proof of the five million Pula Performance Bond. “Thereafter Chitube told me that there was 10 percent needed by the people (Sharks Ventures) from whom the money was borrowed and a further P13┬á000 for the insurance of the loan,” she said.
On 6 April, Manqele went to Botswana’s Ministry of Education order to sign the contract.
“We were told that the signed contract would be sent to the Attorney General Legal Department for sealing. Botswana’s Ministry of Education was represented by Mogorosi and their legal department was represented by Sally Thebe,” said Manqele in her statement.
She said after sometime she inquired about the progress regarding the matter and Chitube told her that the tender had been put on hold due to strikes in Botswana and that the Sharks Ventures requested the Attorney General to stop the process because they had not received their 10 percent from them.
She said this prompted her business associate Tshepo Molapo to withdraw R540┬á000 which was the 10 percent required by Sharks Ventures on the loan.
“I accompanied Molapo to Tlokweng boarder post and handed the money over to Chitube. Later we met with Sharks Ventures representative by the name of Moabi who acknowledged receipt of the money at one of the hotels in Botswana,” she said.
Manqele further stated that “after the strikes, I made inquiries from Chitube who said the Attorney General was still to seal the contract and would be alerted when it had been done. We would get the contract with the purchase order and a cheque (about 49 million Pula) for mobilisation.”
She said she followed up with Chitube and he told her that he had made an appointment with a senior counsel at the Attorney General’s office who said they would accommodate them for a meeting.
“On 20 October 2011 at 16:46, I received an SMS from a Mr Molefe from the Attorney General’s Office which basically assured me that there was no problem with my file and there was no need for a meeting and my file had been sent back to the Tertiary Education (Ministry).
Sunday Standard investigations have revealed that Sharks Ventures was a brief case company owned by Chitube. In an effort to dissuade Manqele and her business associates from enquiring further on the progress made on the tender, Chitube connived with police officers by staging a false sting operation to arrest Manqele and her business associates.
“This people then left us at the mall. I then decided that I did not want the contract anymore. The only thing that I was interested in was to get our money back. I called Chitube and made further inquiries regarding our stance. He said the contract was not called off yet and there were systems in Botswana to claim money back. He also promised that there was another project coming up which will assist us financially,” said.
Manqele said they were later contacted by Captain Dladla from the South African Police Service (Interpol). “He said there was a problem with the tender that we got from Botswana and we met him and Midrand Police Station where we related the story to him. He informed us that the Botswana Police will come over for this investigation…” Interestingly the police officers who were used by Chitube to arrest Manqele at her associates and other people involved in the same fraudulent activities have been arrested while no charges have been preferred against Chitube.
Chitube, a trained intelligence operative was a security advisor to the BDP. He was bungled out the country by security agents after as he was considered a security risk after it emerged that he was spying on DISS Director Isaac Kgosi. The DISS boss has since denied any link with Chitube.