Ngakaagae, Kgosi face off in court duel

Nicholas Mokwena
Friday, 20 April 2018
DEFIANT...NPF saga defense lawyer, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae DEFIANT...NPF saga defense lawyer, Kgosietsile Ngakaagae

A fierce face-off is on the cards between Isaac Kgosi- Director General at Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DISS) and defense lawyer in the P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) money laundering scandal case when it goes for trial.

Kgosi has hinted that DISS would give evidence in the matter. Defence lawyer Kgosietsile Ngakaagae has insisted on several occasions at Regional Court (South) said that Kgosi should go into the dock to also answer for the charges of money laundering. 

He had during the past court appearance indicated that as the defense they would make an application before court for review of Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) decision to charge only his clients and leave out Kgosi and others. 

Bakang Seretse, his company Khulaco Pty Ltd, Botho Felicia Leburu and Kenneth Kerekang are each facing a single count of money laundering contrary to Section 47 (1) (b) of the Proceeds and Instruments of Crime Act.

DISS boss has however this week revealed that the DISS would be giving evidence before court on the money laundering case. When appearing before Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this week, Kgosi indicated that he is not in a position to discuss some issues which are before the court with the committee. He said he cannot discuss Khulaco Pty Ltd and its directorship because such information is before the court (sub judice).

“I am constrained to answer some of these questions. The committee enjoys immunity in this matter, well I don’t. No one would be standing with me in the dock when I am asked to answer. I cannot discuss these issues because they are before court and investigations are ongoing. With these investigations, the DISS would be compelled to give evidence before court,” he stated. 

With DCEC having not expressed its intention to charge Kgosi, it seems the defense team can only have a share of him during cross-examination when giving evidence. Ngakaagae has reiterated on several occasions that he would not stop talking about Kgosi until he is brought before court. “It seems there is this thing of people especially the DCEC and the prosecution fearing Isaac Kgosi such that they do not even want to mention his name. Well I do not fear him and I would not stop talking about him until he is here charged like others,” said Ngakaagae in a recent court appearance. 

Kgosi this week indicated that he is the one who takes decisions at DISS and the buck stops with him as the accounting officer.  He has also revealed that the DCEC has questioned him regarding the money laundering case. He indicated that he is however not in a positon to discuss in detail his questioning.

The issues that Kgosi is referring to are with regards to DISS having requested funds from NPF to be transferred into a Khulaco account. He also did not want to comment on the correspondences between him, Khulaco, Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security. 

In the letters which are already in the public domain, Kgosi in his capacity as DISS Director General wrote to Department of Energy Affairs under the ministry requesting for the P250 million from NPF for DISS to construct strategic fuel storages.  There is a letter also from former Acting Permanent Secretary Dr Obolokile Obakeng giving a go-ahead for DIS to divert the funds from the initial usage to now be used for purchase of military grade equipment in Israel. Kgosi directed through a letter that the sum of P230 million be transferred into the Khulaco account. 

Another letter was from Dr. Obakeng rescinding his decision for the variation of the funds. He also wrote to Kgosi requesting that the DISS should return the funds. All these correspondences, Kgosi said he would not discuss them because they are classified information.

He told the committee that a crime was committed in obtaining of the documents. “There is a clear indication that a crime has been committed. Whoever committed such a crime, action have to be taken,” warned Kgosi.  However, attorney Nchunga Nchunga from Attorney General stated that as long as a government entity followed proper procedure in acquiring documents said to be ‘secret’ there is nothing wrong.

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