Round two goes to butterfly

Bame Piet
TO GO FOR RE-TRIAL : Butterfly

After losing a lawsuit she had filed against government last year, disgraced former spy, Welheminah Butterfly Maswabi last week won round two of the long legal battle with her former employers when Court of Appeal ordered a re-trial of her P30 million defamation lawsuit.

In her court papers, Maswabi had cited corruption investigator–Jako Hubona and five State organs, the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services, Botswana Police and Attorney General as first to sixth Respondents respectively in a civil suit that was dismissed by the High court sometime last year.

Four years ago Maswabi was charged with possession of unexplained Property; Financing Terrorism, and False Declaration for a Passport. The charges were also related to allegations of existence of bank accounts in foreign countries into which hundreds of millions of Pula were allegedly transferred from Botswana Government coffers.

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Round two goes to butterfly
Round two goes to butterfly

“The 1st Respondent went on to state in his Affidavit, that on 15th February 2019, and amount of USD48 Million, being part of money stolen from Bank of Botswana, was transferred from Makhota Bank in Indonesia into a named Standard Bank account held in South Africa under the names of Kgetham (Pty) Ltd; that some of the funds were then transferred from the Kgetham account into various accounts held under Blue Files (Pty) Ltd and Fire Files (Pty) Ltd,” the High Court was told

Hubona listed various other bank accounts in which he alleged proceeds from three unlawful accounts were transferred and in which Maswabi was supposedly a signatory. Despite denying the charges, Maswabi was denied bail on several occasions, and allegations that she was in an intimate relationship with former Director General of DIS Isaac Kgosi who was also cited as an accomplice in the crimes were peddled by state organs without evidence.

However some of the charges were subsequently withdrawn and Maswabi immediately instituted a lawsuit she lost against both the investigator and state organs.

This week although the Apex Court agreed with the lower court that Hubona was not served with statutory notice required under Section 4 of the State Proceedings Act and that as a result, the legal proceedings against him was a nullity since he knew nothing about them, Justices Isaac Lesetedi, Dr Singh Walia, and Elizabeth Nkabinde agreed with some points that Maswabi raised which the High Court had dismissed and therefore sent the concerned partied back to the drawing board.

Maswabi’s demand of P30 million for defamation from Hubona and the aforementioned institutions for defamation stems from an Affidavit Hubona drafted which she has argued was a malicious fabrication and carried falsehoods. She cited him in his official, private, and personal capacity as the person who deposed an affidavit that gave rise to a charge sheet and that he acted with some DCEC officials in falsification, fabrication, and concealment of evidence, which contradicted the other information they gathered during investigations prior to her arrest.

The Court of Appeal said the State institutions will answer each for their part in the investigations, arrest, detention, drafting of charge sheet and other complaints raised by Maswabi.

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Maswabi also wanted the institutions to publish an unconditional retraction and apology for the defamatory statements in both local and international media.

“The matter is remitted back to the High Court for case management and continuation in respect of the live claims and such applications for amendments as may be competently made on the upheld exceptions,” said the judges.

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