From state witness to villain

Sharon Mathala
IN HOT SOUP: Moakofhi

* Morupisi, CMB relationship detailed

* State drops, witness slaps her with corruption charge

As the state looks to throw former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi to the slammer, Morupisi who was flanked by his wife in the dock on Tuesday expressed confidence that the court will clear his name of any wrongdoing.

He has pleaded not guilty to two charges of corruption and one for money laundering – a crime in which his wife, Pinny Morupisi is also implicated.

In a display of confidence and bravado, Morupisi asked the media outside the court, “Who will you write about once I am done with this process next week?”

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Inside the court, however, the state in an interesting twist dropped four of their witnesses, most notably one of the main witnesses, Trudy Suzanne Marsland the ex-wife to the owner of CMB, Tim Marsland.

The prosecution, led by Priscilla Israel has also decided to drop the acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) Lesedi Moakofhi from their witnesses and charge her with corruption instead.

In the charge sheet which was drafted on Tuesday seen by The Voice, Moakofhi faces a single count of corruption.

She has been accused of, “aiding or abetting one Carter Nkatla Morupisi, by co-signing a contract between BPOPF and CMB when in truth or fact she knew very well that they had no power or authority to do so, as the business of the board of trustees for the said BPOPF was on suspension by an order of the high court dated 7, October 2014.”

The last witness to testify, investigating officer (IO) Kentse Setaboshane took the court down memory lane on the chronology of events leading to the charges that have Morupisi and his wife, Pinny Morupisi fight bitterly to save their skin from a possible 33 –year prison term and or a P 20 million fine.

From state witness to villain
BEFORE COURT: Pinnie and Carter Morupisi

Setaboshane told the court that sometime in 2017 at the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) they received a report of allegations of misappropriation of funds belonging to the BPOPF by CMB.

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A year later whilst they carried on with investigations they received another report incriminating the former PSP of having a beneficial relationship with CMB and its directors.

Setaboshane told the court of the transactions that were made by CMB on behalf of BPOPF with the aim of investing the money, which included but not limited to the sale of shares in Wilderness Safaris and a company called Kawera holdings.

“From our investigation, we noted a 150 million transaction, out of the 150 million only 24 million was diverted to Kawera holdings for the purchase of 60 % of its shareholding. The rest of the money was then diverted to CMB fund 1,” the IO told the court.

He further noted that on the 6th of October 2017, 33 million was transferred from CMB fund 1 account to Mano Squad.

“We then asked for mutual legal assistance through the assistance of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from South Africa, and we realized that the directors of Mano Squad were a Botswana Citizen, one Rapula Okaile and two South African nationals,” Setaboshane said.

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According to the state, IO Manosquad bought the Landcruiser vehicle for Morupisi at a car dealership called CMH Toyota.

The cruiser according to the testimony of the IO was driven into Botswana by Okaile and cleared and later transferred to a company called R7 group.

The company, R7 is owned by Morupisi’s wife, Pinny.

The case continues.

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