In 1985, the South African intelligence services particularly operatives from Project Barnacle (a top-secret operation aimed at eliminating anti-apartheid activists) had intensified intelligence gathering and surveillance activities in Botswana.
This came after South African foreign minister Pik Botha publicly announced that Botswana had become the most important launching pad for African National Congress (ANC) to plan and execute sabotage activities against South Africa.
Therefore, the primary objective of the South African intelligence operatives was to collect as much information as possible both on the ANC’s operations here and on our defence and security services. This information would later be processed into operational intelligence that would then determine and inform the nature and manner of South Africa’s military incursions into Botswana.
The operatives continually moved in and out of the country with no or limited counteraction from our security services and continued unabated to acquire new targets and update their operational intelligence.
Some of these operatives posed as visiting businessmen, some as vacationers en route to the Delta and others were more permanent and even running front companies in Gaborone.
The end-result of this intense intelligence operation came in the midnight of June 14 1985 when South African commandos launched a surgical operation; Operation Plexi that left some parts of Gaborone in a blaze and in ruins.
There was nothing our defence and security services could do except to watch helplessly and hopelessly; they had been caught off-guard. An almost identical surgical operation by the South African military was to replay itself in May 20 1986 when Mogoditshane came under helicopter gunships while BDF was being played pre-recorded message not to even dare move an inch.
But the drama that is currently unfolding in our defence and security services is a clear indication that lessons have not been learnt. The infighting, backstabbing, theft, corruption and money-laundering that are going on with impunity in our intelligence services are indicative that we are once again willing to gamble with our dear lives.
I take it that for Isaac Kgosi to be still enjoying the comfort of his air-conditioned office and the security of his luxurious bullet-proofed cars is nothing but an explicit insult to this nation. President Khama and his de facto Vice President, Isaac Kgosi are clearly showing their middle fingers and that if need be we can go to hell, they will help transport us there.
As a matter of fact, President Khama is the one who brought Kgosi in to be head of what is supposed to be our first-line of defence and by every imagination; he is the only one who can relinquish him of his duties. Other than that, I can confirm to you that there is none. Despite the fact that President Khama has so far demonstrated beyond doubt that he is not a man of any desirable intellect, it would be challenging the boundaries of common-sense to think that he would miss something as obvious as that his spy-chief is ‘compromised.’ The appropriate intelligence term is, “burnt.”
There is no point in continuing to entrust a person of such questionable integrity and character with public office when he does not command even an iota of public respect and trust, unless we are calling for a banana republic. President Khama’s continued support for Kgosi to head DIS despite his questionable financial transactions and unjustifiable wealth invites a lot of unconventional questions.
In fact, it can even raise doubts as to whether Kgosi is alone in this filth or as others observe, he is just doing his routine job as “Spanere.” For a man of such dented image, honesty and integrity to be heading our intelligence services in this current geo-strategic environment where threats are complex, non-conventional and multi-faceted is sheer irresponsibility and recklessness on the part of President Khama.
I see it as an attempt to commit crimes against humanity. The saddest part is that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party cannot even dare discuss the issue at any forum. As we are already acquainted to their situation, they are powerless to a point of being useless.
What they would rather do is to trip over each other begging for an opportunity to defend Kgosi. What a shame! Intelligence services serve as an early warning system for any country, hence the public trade some of their rights to accord them access to sometimes private and confidential issues.
It is a trade-in in which the intelligence services have equally made a promise to serve and protect the public without fear or favour. But as it stands our early warning system to safeguard us, our economy and culture from attack is malfunctioning to a point of decommission.