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Govt loses Butterfly P100 billion money laundering case

Sharon Mathala

South Africa to demand answers from DPP

The South African government has threatened to turn up the heat on the Botswana Government and demand answers on why Botswana used Afriforum instead of laid down diplomatic channels to seek legal assistance in the P100 billion money laundering case.

Speaking on Wednesday, two days after the High Court had dismissed the ‘Butterfly’ money laundering case, South‘s Africa’s Department of Justice and Correctional Services Spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said,“ Before the outcome of this matter, the department of justice and constitutional development had written to our counterparts in Botswana. In the correspondence, we had raised concerns about how our government was engaged in the process of requesting mutual legal assistance.”

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Phiri said the position of South Africa was that they were uncomfortable with the fact that Botswana, “Instead of using appropriate and established diplomatic channels chose to engage through a third party, Afriforum.”

“In light of the judgment made by the high court of Botswana several statements made on behalf of the government of Botswana by a non state party (Afriforum) are regrettable. We have no doubt that this judgment in the high court of Botswana will further strengthen our recession application in our own courts,” Phiri said.

Pressed further on what South Africa will do, Phiri could only say, “We will certainly engage through diplomatic channels to ascertain what was the rationale of this unprecedented conduct from our sister nation.”

Meanwhile Gaborone High Court judge Zaine Kebonang on Monday acquitted and discharged spy agent Wilheminah Maswabi from charges of money laundering and financing terrorism, citing that the conduct of the state in investigating and prosecuting Maswabi was unlawful.

“The 1st respondent and all those involved in the prosecution of the applicant ignored very basic legal principles, withheld and falsified material evidence and subjected an innocent person to an unfair and prejudicial prosecution process. I find that there was intentional misconduct by those involved in the investigation and prosecution of the applicant,” the judgment read in part.

Judge Kebonang further stated in his ruling that the state through the DPP, DCEC and DISS offices fabricated and manipulated evidence framed and falsely implicated Maswabi.

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“The 1st respondent, lead prosecutor Priscilla Israel; lead investigator Jako Hubona were persons best positioned to evaluate and asses the merits of the state’s case but purposely embarked on a road to subvert the rule of law,” the judge said.

He further ruled that Israel be referred to the law society, Hubona be reported to the commissioner of Police and most shockingly that the DPP Director, Stephen Tiroyakgosi be referred to the Attorney General for investigation and possible prosecution.

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