Report clears Bridgette Motsepe and Ian Khama of coup and money laundering allegations

Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe. Picture: Gallo Images

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela released the findings of the report, which vindicates the president’s sister-in-law and former Botswana president Ian Khama, who were accused of attempting to overthrow the Botswana government.

A report on allegations of money laundering and political interference against former Botswana President Ian Khama and South African businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe has found “glaring anomalies” in the neighbouring state’s ‘clumsy’ allegations.

This was revealed during a webinar launch of the report chaired by former public protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday afternoon. The investigation and report was conducted by Omnia Strategy, a firm owned by Cherie Blair, international barrister and wife of former UK Prime Minister Tony Blaire.

Speaking before the presentation, Madonsela said she had a chance to review the report herself.

“You will agree with me that these allegations are extremely serious and they have a profound impact on those involved. I have had an opportunity to review this report and it is comprehensive and concise in its findings. It does a remarkable job of dealing with the allegations and revealing the truth,” said Madonsela.

The report investigated claims made by Botswana intelligence and police officials in affidavits where they detail an alleged coup plot masterminded and funded by Khama and Motsepe, involving the alleged theft of US$10 billion from the Botswana Reserve Bank, and the funnelling of those funds through various South African and offshore bank accounts.

Remarks made by Blaire at the report’s launch greatly echoed Motsepe’s repeated arguments to the press regarding the allegations, since they surfaced from Botswana newspapers last year.

Motsepe and Khama have made numerous appeals through the media for various institutions to investigate the claims and clear their names. While the pair have yet to formally face criminal charges for these allegations, they were determined to clear their names.

Motsepe last month vowed to sue the government for the damage the allegations had potentially done to her reputation.

Having faced heavy media backlash in Botswana and South Africa, Motsepe recently appointed legal and PR firm Omnia Strategy LLP to clear her reputation and sue several people she blamed for her tarnished reputation.

Motsepe, who is married to former cabinet minister Jeff Radebe and is the sister of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s wife Tshepo Motsepe, previously said she did not want to involve her brother-in-law in the dispute.

The report used letters produced by Motsepe from South African banks, Absa and Nedbank confirming that the account numbers and account named presented in affidavits as evidence in the Botswana High Court case against her, did not exist.

Last month it emerged the Botswana government had solicited private prosecutor Gerrie Nel to deal with her case.

– Simnikiweh@citizen.co.za

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