Give me more land or I burn down the city – Van Staden
Fourteen years after pardoning and compensating a convicted rapist, the Office of the President finds itself still being haunted by Paul Van Staden (45) who now wants more after selling the residential plot he was given in Tlokweng.
Six years ago, The Voice published a story about then 39-year-old Van Staden’s demand for P540 million accompanied by three residential plots, a business plot, farming and ploughing land, a driver’s licence and an E-Passport.
Van Staden recently returned to our offices, revealing that, “The new Masisi government has reneged on the promises made by the former President Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
In 2003, Van Staden and two other men were accused of rape, a charge on which Van Staden alone was convicted and jailed. This, according to him, was an injustice, which he wrote to the Office of the President about, ultimately getting himself a pardon two years before completing his 10- year-sentence on the 4th of July, 2009.
Since then, Van Staden has felt owed by the government, threatening them with a lawsuit if they didn’t comply with his demands. On June 6th, 2011, a savingram addressed from the Office of the President to Tlokweng Sub-Land Board requested assistance in identifying a residential plot in Tlokweng for Van Staden. The letter continued by stating that the Office of the President would assist “In possible ways of building him a shelter”. The Voice learnt that shortly after, those demands were met.
Now, broke and down to his luck, crashing at his brother’s house in Tlokweng after selling his plot, Van Staden is threatening to burn the city of Gaborone down should the government not assist him according to his demands.
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Last year, he once again returned to knock on the doors of the Office of the President to present his compensation demands. In a letter (the usual medium of communication between the two parties), the Office of the President maintained that Van Staden should take the matter up with the Court of Appeal (CoA). Determined yet lacking the legal know-how, Van Staden is seeking legal assistance in order to take his demands to CoA. “Should I not get the help I am looking for, all that will be left will be to burn this entire city to the ground,” he said.
This publication reached out to Ernest Moseki from the Office of the President to establish their intentions regarding the ex-convict, who is threatening the nation’s security, however, he refused to comment on Van Staden’s matter, referring us to the Deputy Permanent Secretary, whose lines rang unanswered.