Botswana: 'Butterfly's Charges a Fabrication'

25 November 2019

Gaborone High Court Judge Michael Mothobi on Friday granted bail to Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) agent Wilhelmina Mphoeng Maswabi code named Butterfly.

State attorneys did not oppose the urgent bail application by Maswabi but instead proposed some bail conditions, among them that she should not interfere with state witnesses and Ian Khama. Last week, Khama poured scorn on the state's case against Butterfly dismissing it as a fabrication against her. He even cast doubt on the credibility of lead investigator, Jako Hubona. Witnesses of DPP that Butterfly has been cautioned against interfering with include Jako Hubona who is chief investigator on the matter, Mabuse Pule and Thulaganyo Rabogadi.

State attorney Omphemetse Makale told court that because investigations are ongoing, Maswabi has not been made to appreciate who the state witnesses will be but Justice Mothobi disagreed with the state. "There is now way I am going to concede to you not to reveal the names of your witnesses. It is important because the applicant must know who she shall not interfere with," judge Mothobi ruled.

Justice Mothobi also said because the state is not opposing the bail application he will thus need to be satisfied that indeed the application should be granted without opposition by DPP.

Makale had also proposed that Khama should give evidence against Maswabi but the DPP move hit a snag as Butterfly's lawyers successfully argued that Khama and South African business woman Bridget Motsepe- Radebe be removed from the witnesses' list. Furthermore, Butterfly's attorney Unoda Mack submitted that the effect of the non-opposition of bail by the state is that indeed the state agrees that their submissions are false and fabricated. The point was later repeated by Butterfly's lawyer Uyapo Ndadi outside court when speaking to journalists.

Butterfly faces counts for financing terrorism, possession of unexplained property and false declaration of passports. She is reported to be in possession of diplomatic passports she is refusing to hand over to the state.

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