Mmegi/The Reporter (Gaborone)

9 September 2009

Botswana: Musician in Half a Million Car Scam

The man at the heart of half a million Pula car scam, Othusitse Tshesebe, is a top local musician. It is alleged that potential car buyers had been ripped off by Tshesebe who claimed to be a car sales agent.

Tshesebe is a former member of a White City music ensemble Da Vet Crew. He once embarked on a countrywide tour with other members of the group, to raise funds for the White City home based care community project.

The 33-year-old Tshesebe later left the group to embark on a solo career.

However, Tshesebe is now singing a different tune in jail as he is awaiting bail. The Broadhurst Magistrate Court had previously rejected his bail applications because he does not have a fixed abode.

Tshesebe faces nine counts of obtaining by false pretences. The offences are alleged to have been committed this year in Gaborone.

He is alleged to have swindled people close to P500,000 on different occasions, claiming that he was going to buy them cars in Durban, South Africa.

One of the people allegedly swindled of P69,000 is another musician, Maxy Olebile Sedumedi.

In her affidavit, Maxy, as she is commonly known, said she entered into an agreement with Tshesebe in January so that he could act as an agent to buy her two mini buses.

Maxy said she gave Tshesebe P69,000, but he failed to live up to his promises.

Upon further enquiries, she learnt that Tshesebe was staying at Block 9 with his live-in-lover who worked for the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning. Maxy said she was informed by another complainant that the girlfriend has since relocated to Francistown. She said even the girlfriend confirmed that she has moved to Francistown.

Maxy said sometime in March, she attended a meeting at the home of Tshesebe's parents. The purpose of the meeting was to consider the offer that he proposed.

Basically, the offer was to encourage the complainants not to report Tshesebe. If they had reported him, the complainants were being encouraged to withdraw the charges.

Maxy said she learnt from Tshesebe's family members that he was the one who came up with the proposal that they should withdraw the charges.

On the first count that he is facing, Tshesebe is accused of defrauding Difemelo Monkutlwatsi of P55,000 by claiming that he was going to buy a car for him in South Africa.

The state insists that he knew that no such car was to be bought.

On the second count, Tshesebe is accused of defrauding Maxy of P69,000 on the pretext that he was going to buy two combis for her.

On the third count, he is alleged to have swindled Gaedume Mokoto, of P28,000.

As for the fourth count, Tshesebe allegedly obtained P125,000 from Oganeditse Dibonwa by pretending that he was going to buy two cars in South Africa.

On the fifth count, he allegedly obtained P30,000 from Portia Lebekwe still under the pretext that he was going to buy her a car in South Africa.

On the sixth count, he allegedly obtained P84,000 from Gaone Mfosi still under the pretext that he was going to buy a car.

On count seven, he allegedly obtained P47,000 from Goitseone Dikobe by pretending that he was going to buy a car in South Africa.

On the eighth count, the state claims that he obtained P25,000 from Tefo Koitsewe by falsely pretending that he was going to buy a car for him in South Africa.

On count nine, Tshesebe is accused of having falsely obtained P15,000 from Marea Lepholetha.

According to legal sources, Tshesebe is likely to face more charges as more complainants have come up to report.

In the past, Tshesebe's case, which was heard at the Broadhust Magistrate's Court, had attracted showbiz personalities.

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