Adv. Gerrie Nel, Head of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit, Adv. Phyllis Vorster, prosecutor, and Andrew Leask, chief investigator at the unit, are in Botswana this week in connection with the prosecution of Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi in this country. AfriForum announced last month that members of the private prosecution unit had been appointed by the government of Botswana to deal with the pre-trial proceedings in that state’s prosecution of Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi.
During this visit, an application will be brought to have Adv. Nel and Adv. Vorster admitted as counsel to appear in the courts of Botswana. The unit will also consult with witnesses and interested parties, and visit the court in order to better familiarise themselves with the court processes in this country.
Maswabi was an agent of Botswana’s Directorate of Intelligence Services and is currently being prosecuted in the regional magistrate’s court in Broadhurst for possession of unexplained property and making a false declaration for a passport. Various media reports by media publications in that country have made further allegations against Maswabi that she had financed terrorism by shifting money that could be linked to the former chief spy of Botswana, Isaac Kgosi.
Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe, wife of ex-minister Jeff Radebe and sister-in-law of President Cyril Ramaphosa, is also being accused in the media that she, together with Maswabi, was a co-signatory of accounts to the value of billions of pula. Adv. Nel and Adv. Vorster were appointed last year by the government of Botswana to facilitate its request for mutual legal assistance in this matter regarding Motsepe-Radebe with the South African government.
“The government of Botswana’s trust in AfriForum’s private prosecution unit to handle this high profile case gives recognition to the unique concept of private prosecution. It also points to international recognition of the integrity of the unit, as well as AfriForum as an organisation, to pursue justice without any political interference. The continued failure of the South African government to adhere to the government of Botswana’s request for mutual legal assistance regarding Motsepe-Radebe’s alleged involvement, once again proves why an independent unit such as the private prosecution unit is necessary,” says Natasha Venter, advisor at the private prosecution unit.