DCEC tries to gag media

SHARE   |   Sunday, 13 July 2014   |   By Staff Writer
Seretse Seretse SundayStandard

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has launched an offensive to gag the media reporting of the controversial Isaac Kgosi case, which is already in the public domain.

On Thursday the DCEC director Rose Seretse is said to have sought the help of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) to plead with editors of local media houses to stop reporting on the case. She is said to have complained that the media is trying the Directorate of Intelligence and Security head, Kgosi in public through its various stories published on him.

Just recently, in the on-going case before the courts, where DCEC had to sought that the Sunday Standard newspaper stop reporting on the case, the court said the paper should desist from publishing verbatim the statements of the witnesses interviewed by the corruption-busting agency. 

Meanwhile, on Friday, the DCEC issued a statement through government spokesman Dr Jeff Ramsay complaining over the Kgosi case media coverage. 

“Of particular concern is the suggestion that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana may be linked to, or is interfering with the investigation. In this regard, the DCEC wishes to state that His Excellency is not linked to this investigation, and has not in any way interfered with the investigation. This allegation is therefore false, misleading and most unfortunate. Furthermore, while freedom of expression is a constitutional right, it should be exercised with due regard to the constitutional rights of others, including the presumption of innocence,” reads the statement. 

The statement says, the DCEC has a duty to protect its sources, informants, suspects and witnesses, in order to maintain the integrity of its investigations and operations. “Moreover, it is an offence under the Corruption and Economic Crime Act to publish or disclose to any other person, the identity of any person who is the subject of an investigation, or any details of such an investigation.  Consequently, the DCEC appeals to all to exercise restraint, caution and accountability in dealing with matters under investigation,” it says.