State prosecutor in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money laundering case, Advocate Shaun Abrahams, has added Kgori Capital and its two Directors Sharifa Noor and Alphonse Ndzinge to the list of accused persons, joining former partner Bakang Seretse.
Also new in the amended charge sheet which on Friday morning rejected and the matter postponed to June 6th is Mpho Kerekang, the wife to the already accused Kenneth Kerekang together with a former NPF Administrator Bojelo Julius. The other co-accused persons who also appeared before Broadhurst Regional Magistrate court on Friday are Kenneth Kerekang, Bakang Seretse, former cabinet minister and Lobatse MP Sadique Kebonang, High Court judge Dr Zein Kebonang, Mogomotsi Seretse and Kago Stimela.
Appearing before Gaborone Regional Magistrate Masilo Matlhaka, State prosecutor Abrahams told court that the state has completed investigations on the matter and is ready to have the matter proceed to the high court for trial. “I said in the last mention in March that we will add new accused persons in the charge sheet. The DCEC has concluded its investigations on the matter therefore we are committing the already accused persons together with all the new accused to be trialed before the high court,” he said.
The amended charge sheet contains 169 counts between the accused with the no changes made to the 65 money laundering charges that were laid against Seretse and his co-accused before.
Defence attorney Kgosietsile Ngakaagae opposed the prosecution submission on the new amended charge sheet, arguing that he has filed an application for charges against his clients to be dropped. He said the state did not oppose his application, hence his clients’ charges should be dropped and they are acquitted and discharged. “The court should first deal with the issue that we have put first on the table before the state’s application of today. This amended charge sheet is not valid because there is also no way the trial can be undertaken when the state says the investigations are still ongoing with regards to Mpho (Kenneth Kerekang’s wife),” charged Ngakaagae.
Abrahams submitted that the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) investigating officers have found it difficult to get hold of Kenneth Kerekang’s wife during investigations, saying therefore investigations are still on with regards to her.
Ngakaagae argued that the state continues to shift goals by repeatedly amending the charge sheet, saying he will not accept any more amendments by the state citing unfairness on handling the issue. He said the state is still failing to present the accused persons with further particulars of the charges laid against them as this will give his clients better understanding of the accusations which would then allow them to prepare their defence.
Magistrate blasts Abrahams
Magistrate Matlhaka put Abrahams in a tight corner saying he is not impressed by suggestions that the case should be committed to the High Court for trial while investigations continue. He wondered why Abrahams cannot furnish the court with further particulars despite that he has long ruled on the matter. He ordered Abrahams to do so. “This court is not impressed with your conduct. This court ruled at the last mention that DPP should furnish the defence with further particulars. Nothing has happened on that too. This is really not convincing, yet you want to commit the case to the high court to proceed with the trial,” said Matlhaka blasting Abrahams.
The man at the centre of multi million pula transactions that led to the arrest of kingpin Bakang Seretse- the former Managing Director of Kgori Capital, Isaac Kgosi has not made the list of accused persons yet. The embattled former Director General of Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) appeared in a different court on Thursday. He is embroiled in a legal tussle with the state charged for exposing the identity of DISS agents to the media hence contravening the Security Intelligence Act. During his appearance in court on Thursday, it emerged that DISS agents have been regularly visiting Kgosi’s house in Phakalane during the week in search of the cellphone that was allegedly used to send the pictures of the agents to a local newspaper.