DIS and BPS did not show up during Kgosi firearms case

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and the Botswana Police Service (BPS) have failed to appear to plead in a case in which former intelligence chief Isaac Kgosi is seeking the return of his weapons seized. PHOTO: PHATSIMO KAPENG,

The Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and the Botswana Police Service (BPS) have failed to appear to plead in a case in which former intelligence chief Isaac Kgosi is seeking the return of his weapons seized. PHOTO: PHATSIMO KAPENG,

This is despite the fact that the two agencies had previously said the weapons should not be handed over to Kgosi as they were part of their investigation into the illegal possession of weapons of war and an ongoing case before the Magistrate’s Court instance. The DIS had also claimed that the weapons were acquired illegally and constituted weapons of war which posed a threat to national security and therefore should not be handed over to Kgosi. According to Justice Zein Kebonang of the Gaborone High Court, the two agencies represented by the Attorney General did not appear for oral arguments despite having received a notice of registration. “The respondents did not appear in court when this matter was heard, despite having received a notice of registration. They did not provide an explanation for their failure to appear or make any arrangements to attend. ensure they were represented,” he said during the hearing. he handed over the weapons to Kgosi. Kebonang said in his judgment that they must therefore take responsibility for their conduct.

The agencies are said to have been investigating the legality of the weapons and Kgosi, along with former President Ian Khama, former Police Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, and former Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sport and Development. Culture (MYSC), Victor Paledi. , who were indicted for the acquisition of weapons and ammunition. The charges against Makgophe and Paledi have since been dropped. Kgosi’s weapons and those of Khama were considered weapons of war by the DIS and therefore constituted a threat to national security. However, Kebonang questioned why these weapons were even referred to as weapons of war, stressing that the explanation of weapons of war did not relate to the weapons seized in Kgosi at all. It read: “Section 2 of the Arms and Ammunition Act 2018 defines “weapons of war” to mean artillery of all kinds, devices intended to fire all kinds of projectiles, whether explosive or diffusing gas , flamethrowers, bombs, grenades. , machine guns and small caliber rifled weapons, or weapons which may be prescribed, but do not include sporting rifles, nor personal or other weapons or devices not intended for war purposes…”. The judge said the DIS and BPS did not specify which Kgosi firearms were weapons of war and therefore they were not informed to the court “They do not even specify whether the law prohibits l. licensing and registration of weapons of war. The BPS, which is the designated licensing authority under section 3 of the Arms and Ammunition Act, has not and does not dispute that Kgosi’s firearms and the ammunition were correctly recorded and authorized by it. “He actually confirms in a letter to Kgosi’s lawyers, dated April 3, 2020, that they (BPS) ‘never received a court order to seize your clients’ property.'” They then redirect Kgosi to the DIS as the persons who ‘searched and seized the said property.'” Justice Kebonang wondered how an entity that has no licensing authority or oversight over the BPS determines that there had a violation either by the police or the applicant in the registration and issuance of ammunition and firearms licenses.

More on the legality and acquisition of weapons, Kebonang explained that most of the weapons showed that they were acquired locally and the BPS registered most of them while some were inherited by Kgosi from his father. He mentioned that regarding the 30.06 and the rifle(s) seized from the former spy chief, the file indicated that the 30.06 rifle was registered by the police in the name of Kim Bekker on January 16, 1992, under certificate no. BD: 14937, while the shotgun was sold by BGI Guns, Francistown, under a hire purchase agreement to Pula Israel Kgosi on August 28, 1999. “All these items were recorded by BPS. They belonged to Kgosi’s father until he inherited it. The records also show that in 2009, the BPS issued Kgosi with an import permit for a 1 x 9mm pistol (Parabellum) under the certificate. No. 23953 from Germany Records further show that on August 5, 2011, the BPS again authorized Kgosi to import a combination of firearms: 12/76 and 3006 caliber. , did he declare.

Kebonang explained that in relation to the weapons mentioned, permission was sought and duly granted by the then Commissioner of Police, Thebeyame Tsimako and his permission was copied to several people including the Secretary of State. Defense, Justice and Security, and the officer. responsible for the Central Arms Register. He added that Paledi, who at one time was deputy commissioner of police and chairman of the Arms and Ammunition Quota Board, responsible for registration of firearms and ammunition and issuance of licenses, had provided an affidavit confirming the applicant’s claims, which had not been confirmed. been denied.

“The DIS’s claim that there were no import permits for Kgosi’s firearms can only be false if one takes into account the permits issued by Tsimako,” Kebonang said.