Four days set for trial
It promises to be a fiery legal battle when Joseph Pilane finally meets his relatives at the Gaborone High Court on 21st – 24th November 2023. One of the things he intends to tell the Court is that Chinese businessman Huashi Li, who is cited as Fourth Respondent was so determined to infiltrate the Masisi family, to make sure that he was as close to the President as possible.
According to the Court papers seen by this publication, Pilane says he is the one who introduced Boitumelo Phadi Mmutle to Huashi Li, and the duo started doing business together.
“Huashi Li and Mrs Mmutle then started doing business together and Huashi Li donated some solar lights to Mrs Mmutle’s business in Gaborone. Huashi Li informed me that Mrs Mmutle demanded that he should pay rent for a house she had secured at Golf Estate. The amount of P100,000 was paid by Huashi Li into my bank account out of which I paid P85,000.00 to Mrs Mmutle,” Pilane is going to say in court.
“The witness will further state that Huashi Li informed him that Mrs Mmutle was valuable to G&M Building Services for business purposes because of her close connections with the President,” the court papers say.
Pilane further says that Huashi Li invited him to join G&M Building Services since he owned it, and that he signed the 40% share forms at Pre-Con’s offices on condition that he delivers on any of the then upcoming major water works.
He states that he was the only employee of G&M Building Services at the time and also its Managing Director after being appointed by Huashi Li.
He was then fully engaged in preparing and signing all documents relating to G&M transactions.
“The witness will further state that he was the lead person especially with regards to the tender for works at Goodhope which Huashi Li ultimately won. This was after Pilane had attended debriefing meetings for other bids that Huashi Li lost,” the court papers say.
Pilane further says Huashi Li suggested that in order to win, they had to make a financial commitment to the ruling party through G&M Building Services and the company donated P200,000.00 to Botswana Democratic Party through a cheque which was received by the party treasurer Satar Dada.
Pilane further states that on presenting the cheque to Dada, Huashi Li was furnished with a list of tendered projects for Water Utilities Corporation and promised that should he win he will purchase vehicles from Dada’s Motor Centre.
On 19th May 2021, Pilane was invited to a meeting at Mmutle’s house in Phakalane Golf Estates to come and account for a letter he wrote to Pre-Con two days earlier rejecting Huashi Li’s suggestion to make a financial commitment to the BDP.
The meeting was attended by another of his aunts Mrs Ketshidile Ntholo Hlanze.
He says he was furnished with a letter where he purported to resign from G&M Building Services or else DIS Director General Brigadier Peter Magosi would be called to deal with him.
With the knowledge of what pain Brigadier Magosi was likely to inflict on him, he reluctantly signed the resignation letter.
He says at the time, the two aunts did not have any association with G&M Building Services.
He says a few days later he received a call from Brigadier Magosi requesting for a meeting, which materialized at Mochudi police station.
During the meeting, Magosi demanded the P200,000.00 cheque made to the BDP and he handed him one of his copies, after which Magosi confirmed that G&M Building Services might be handed the Goodhope water works project which is estimated to cost P550million.
Pilane is demanding close to P17 million in from G&M, and Kelebogile Monnaatshipi, Tswelakhumo Ventures (PTY) Ltd and Huashi Li, citing them as first to fourth respondent respectively.
However, the Defendants are denying almost all allegations by Pilane, and state that he has no right to sue them.
Huashi Li says Pilane was never appointed Managing Director at G&M Building Services, he never paid any money to BDP, never threatened Pilane, and that he never attended any meeting at Phakalane.
Monnaatshipi argues that he is the one who compiled tender documents for the Goodhope water works, whilst Pilane was marginally engaged.
Phadi Mmutle will confirm that there was a meeting in Phakalane on May 21st 2021, where Pilane resigned and later confirmed later on May 31st to be removed from all company records.
“Pilane was never forced to resign, he resigned voluntarily and the duress he claims in his case is figment of his imagination,” she argues.
Tshidi Masisi-Hlanze also confirms Pilane was never forced to resign.
Other witnesses for the Defendants are Anna Gaborekwe and Boitshoko Maome who are secretaries.