I request to be allowed to take part in the street court, to be a part of public narration. Assuming that Uyapo Ndadi, as amongst the leading lawyers in this country, provides a basis for a strong argument regarding the now common and unfolding scandal of the century that is the National Petroleum Fund (NPF) featuring; Fund management mogul Bakang Seretse, Minister Saadique Kebonang, Kenneth Kerekang, Botho Leburu of Kgori Capital, and the DISS; one is then entitled to a view. Uyapo Ndadi wrote on his facebook page that “the strategy by Bakang Seretse is difficult to follow, not sure if he is saying I’m guilty but I am not alone, which surely is not a defence to the charge/s. Or he is saying I am innocent and so are they! But when someone is innocent they don’t show who else is innocent! Naturally if a person is innocent he proves his innocence and can still report those who he thinks committed offences. Has he reported?” Though these particular words by Uyapo Ndadi have had me thinking and inspired me to pen this, my thinking of the matter also went and goes beyond this legal approach thinking. My contention is rather what appears, from where I am standing, a serious story of deception emerging. And perusing the media publications from the day this story was broken, the narrative has been this; Bakang Seretse is being made a scape goat. The story then moved direction to the effect that Bakang Seretse was being used by either the; DCEC, Financial Intelligence Agency, DPP, BERA or both, to wrongfully implicate senior government officials in some sort of corruption. Such figures included in particular strong reference to, in the words of Bakang; the President of Botswana and the Director of DISS.
One particular story in the Mmegi Monitor can be remembered, where Bakang came out of prison cell and initiated claims that he is being used as a scapegoat. He narrated that when he was in prison, a certain DCEC investigator had tried to corner him into confessing that the NPF funds given to the DISS had in fact gone into the pockets of President Khama and DISS Director General, Isaac Kgosi. In that exclusive, the message being driven home was that the likes of Bakang Seretse, Botho Leburu, Kgori Capital, and Kenneth Kerekang were just collateral. The narration then took a twist somewhere along the way and a new narration emerged by Bakang e that there was an assassination plot against him and his partners. The narration has developed another view angle being that Bakang did not benefit from the money but rather that some ministers, the ruling party, Director of the DISS and the vice president of Botswana are the actual beneficiaries. The question that remains unanswered in my following of the unfolding story is not knowing if some of the local newspaper owners, or editors, or reporters have deliberately become part of the deception I have observed. Or it is only that they just happen to have been caught in the cross fire. This was not the only deception I saw playing out. Here was Bakang Seretse, calling himself a patriot, who sacrificed a lot for the security of Botswana. It was only later in court that the picture became clear, that the matter is not about the purchasing of DISS equipment but of filthily dipping his hands into the NPF and in the process extracting close to 50 million Pula, without anyone's authority. We would later learn in court papers that Bakang’s claim that he had entered into a 20 percent agreement with DISS was not a fact. No proof of that agreement with DISS could be furnished to the courts, except an agreement for the same signed by his co accused, Kerekang who had no authority to do so. These are some of the facts that some of the local newspapers have conveniently not reported on.
But that is not yet my story either. But don't forget it. Fast forward. Here comes Bakang again and this time around, claiming that the very people he appeared to be defending in that Mmegi Monitor exclusive, were out to kill him. Apparently because he holds deep secrets in relation to the NPF transaction that has him in trouble. My head is now spinning in confusion. What is the accused up to? First he says he is caught up in the DCEC, FIA, DPP, Khama & Isaac Kgosi war. Now he says Khama and Kgosi want to kill him. Which one should I believe!? But then all along, way from the legal tussle, public narration, spear headed by the media, tells a different story. But the layers of deceptions through the local media were not over yet. Next comes the Mail Guardian of South Africa with its detailed expose, specifically exposing how Bakang had been involved in the opening of a bank account using a company owned by his South African business partner, a certain Mhlanzi, from which account transactions worth millions of pulas were made without the knowledge of Mhlanzi. The investigations, according to the Mail & Guardian report, revealed that this was an inside job. The Mail & Guardian reveals that Bakang and Mhlanzi agreed for a meeting to sort out this internal problem. But a 2 million transaction was paid out to someone from the same account a day before Mhlanzi was to travel to Gaborone. Mhlanzi was shot dead, with seven shots, inside his car while driving home from work. From the contents of the mail & Guardian story, the father of Mhlanzi mentions that Bakang never set foot or phoned since his business partner died.
It is clear here that an allegation implicating Bakang not only in fraudulent dealings with his business partner, but an allegation linking Bakang to the death of Mhlanzi is made in the Mail & Guardian report. However what follows from this expose and allegations against Bakang is a Public relations rhetoric spinned in the form of news, a PR rhetoric deliberately aimed at diluting, and banishing those Mail & Guardian scandalous allegations against Bakang. It becomes difficult to now balance the local media reporting on the Bakang case and the actual events unfolding in the courts and hence my view that it appears there is so much deceptive Manoeuvres in by our local media on this matter. And reading Uyapo Ndadi’s facebook posting, it also dawned on me that such deceptive manoeuvres will possibly confuse and mislead the legal arguments of Bakang as he continues to shoot the air. And just for the record, we must in this background keep it in mind that Kgori Capital was recently found by High Court in Lobatse to have been involved in “multiple serious criminal related activities which includes but are not limited to cheating the public revenue, abuse of public office, obtaining by false pretences and money laundering”. As a result of these criminal activities P15 million has been withheld in the Kgori Capital and the DCEC investigators told court that the amount could rise.
Though I have followed this story from day one, and continue to do so, it was only after reading Uyapo Ndadi’s words, that I became convinced that since the whole story began, we have been brainwashed into believing that Bakang and his accused has no case to answer in court. In fact the local media stories further mentions that the court case is more about individuals ‘egos than Bakang and Kgori. Not only that the story goes further to state that the P15 million that Kgori was lately ordered to hold by court is part of settlement of the missing NPF, and that soon the case will be over. It is a very intriguing cloak and dagger game that I would not wish to miss its unfolding, but so far it is clear the local media is captured by one party, either blindfold or consciously.