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Khulaco sues DCEC for P100m

SHARE   |   Thursday, 19 September 2019   |   By Ditiro Motlhabane
Bakang Seretse Bakang Seretse

Embattled businessman Bakang Seretse, through his company Khulaco (Pty) Ltd, has slapped the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security with multi-million Pula lawsuit for loss of business in the controversial P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) scandal.

A statutory notice for the claim by Khulaco was delivered at Government enclave last Friday (September 06, 2019), catching many government officials by surprise. Set up and engaged as a transactional consultant, specifically to facilitate the transfer of P250 million from NPF under the instructions of deposed Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS), Isaac Kgosi, Khulaco argue that they are owed commission for the transaction.

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Curiously, although Khulaco claim to have paid VAT to BURS on the amount involved, impeccable sources at DPP tell The Patriot on Sunday that the company did not have a VAT number or a tax clearance certificate at the time it handled the NPF funds. "Even to date Khulaco does not have those documents," a source said. 

Elsewhere financial services experts explain that under normal circumstances and according to regulations asset managers' transactional fees/ commission never exceed the ceiling of 3% of the funds involved. However, it has since emerged that Khulaco had entered into an agreement with DIS – through Kgosi – for a 20% commission in the NPF transaction.

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"Based on the foregoing the current DIS boss is fuming at DPP, demanding that Kgosi be charged ASAP for his involvement in these suspicious transactions," a source revealed. 

Although the funds were drawn from the NPF account into the Khulaco account in three tranches of P80m, P80m and P70m under the pretext of financing the construction of fuel storage reserves around the country, Kgosi later wrote an instruction to the company to re-direct the funds to purchase surveillance equipment from Israeli companies. Sources say even the equipment which DIS claimed cost millions included only drones and some gadgets which cost way less than the funds taken from the NPF.

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The DCEC and the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) were tipped off about the unusual transfer of large sums of money in and out of the newly opened Khulaco account at Capital bank by an alert junior bank employee.

What raised eyebrows and caught the attention of the junior banker was that the funds were transferred from a government account into Khulaco then shortly thereafter distributed to numerous recipient offshore accounts in Israel.

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Following intensive joint investigations by DCEC and FIA which tracked the money trial, Seretse and numerous other co-accused among them former Director in the Department of Energy Affairs Kenneth Kerekang and his wife, former Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security Sadique Kebonang (and his company Raging Bull (Pty) Ltd and his twin brother High court judge Dr Zein Kebonang were arrested and charged with money laundering, corruption, receiving proceeds of a crime etc. Other accused persons are Bakang's brother Mogomotsi and his company Leomog (Pty) ltd, and Kago Stimela and his company STM Holdings. They are currently facing multiple counts (65) of corruption, money laundering before the high court.

According to the charge sheet, on August 2017 Kerekang, then a Director in the Department of Energy Affairs in the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources gave false information to Kgosi, claiming that Khulaco (Pty) Ltd had been contracted to manage NPF. The motive was to cause Kgosi to work with Khulaco in the disbursement of funds to DIS suppliers, which the spy chief bought hook, line and sinker.

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The latest lawsuit by Bakang, through Khulaco, against the state organs follows shortly another application by his other company Basis Points Capital (Pty) Ltd who were the initial asset managers for the DIS before the NPF transaction. Basis Points Capital is demanding an outstanding payment of P5 483,704 10 for a contract with the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security for transactional advisory services for financing development and construction of bulk petroleum storage at Tshele Hills. The total amount charged for the services was more than P21 million and the Ministry had agreed to pay at different stages in terms of invoices given upon completion of work done.

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