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When tables turn

Cathrine Moemedi
ACCUSED: Mbatisi Ntshiiwa

DCEC official in court for corruption

Having spent his life interrogating and prosecuting corrupt public servants, a Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC) official now finds himself having to answer some difficult questions.

Charged with a single count of corruption, Mbatisi Ntshiiwa, 42, stands accused of receiving a P2, 000 bribe from a transport officer he was investigating back in August 2018.

Giving evidence in court last week, the said officer, Babebedi Abidile, 41, claimed he met the suspect near IEC offices, where Ntshiiwa warned him that DCEC officials were ‘onto him’.

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According to Abidile, the accused promised to make the supposed evidence against him disappear if he stumps up P10, 000.

“Later, DCEC officials came to me and told me that they are investigating unprocedural issuance of permits by our office and their investigations were leading them to me,” continued Abidile, adding after his arrest and detention he informed the officials about his previous encounters with Ntshiiwa.

The officers then masterminded a sting operation, with Abidile and P2k as the bait.

“They told me to call him and set up a meeting with him and they gave me the money to give him. I called him and informed him that I managed to raise only P2, 000 from the P10, 000 he requested. We agreed to meet at Sentlhaga Restaurant.”

The meeting is said to have taken place on 24 August 2018, with Ntshiiwa busted by his colleagues shortly after receiving the cash.

Responding to these claims, the accused insisted Abidile cooked-up the story, possibly as a result of the trauma he suffered during the few hours of detention.

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“I have never informed you that you were being investigated, you got that information from your co-workers and other DCEC officials,” Ntshiiwa maintained.

He told court he was well-acquainted with Abidile, to the extent they discussed their life projects together.

“Receiving money from him was purely out of the personal relationship we had with one another,” said Ntshiiwa, who remains on active duty but has since been transferred to Gaborone.

The trial continues, although Maun Magistrates Court are still to confirm the date.

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