Motsepe breaks his silence on allegations of political interference in Botswana

2019-06-13 19:03
Patrice Motsepe has denied allegations that he is meddling in Botswana's politics.(Gallo Images)

Patrice Motsepe has denied allegations that he is meddling in Botswana's politics.(Gallo Images)

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Dr Patrice Motsepe has finally broken his silence on allegations of political interference in Botswana, refuting reports that he has been bankrolling the opposition.

In a statement released on Thursday, Motsepe denied paying a single cent for political purposes or in connection with the upcoming elections in Botswana.

Local media reports have accused Motsepe and his sister, Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe of funding a campaign to remove Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi in favour of former foreign affairs minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

READ: Botswana revokes visa-free entry for Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe

"The allegations that he pledged R22m to any political party or persons, or that he was involved in, or party to smuggling money into Botswana are absolutely false and malicious," the statement read.

"We do not want to get involved and have no interests in the politics of Botswana or the developments of any political party."

The statement also mentions that the mining mogul is often requested to meet prominent international business leaders, philanthropists and former heads of state.

READ MORE: South Africa govt has nothing to do with Motsepe-Radebe Botswana debacle - Sisulu

"The request for him to have a brief courtesy meeting at OR Tambo International Airport with former president Ian Khama was also agreed to because of the old family friendship and ties."

According the statement, the family ties relate to their fathers, Sir Seretse Khama and Augustine Motsepe who were students at the University of Fort Hare.

Motsepe has also instituted legal action in Botswana because of the false and defamatory statements.

News24 previously reported that Motsepe also obtained a High Court order against BLF leader Andile Mngxitama, who accused him of meddling in Botswana's affairs.

South Africa clarifies

In April this year, the then International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu travelled to Botswana at the request of President Cyril Ramaphosa to deliver a message that the South African government played no role in allegations of political interference.

During a media briefing at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation's (Dirco) head office in Tshwane, Sisulu disclosed details of the meeting with Masisi.

Motsepe-Radebe, who is the wife of former cabinet stalwart Jeff Radebe and Ramaphosa's sister-in-law.

Sisulu said the message conveyed to Masisi reiterated the long-standing and excellent relations between the two countries and distanced the South African government from Motsepe-Radebe's alleged dealings in Botswana.

"The matter that was in the newspaper has nothing to do with the government of South Africa," Sisulu said.

"The message assured the people of Botswana despite the recent media reports, the relations between the two countries remained solid," Sisulu added.

The minister said the meeting with Masisi took around 45 minutes and that the matter, as it appeared in media reports, was discussed.

Sisulu also confirmed that Botswana has taken a decision which will require Motsepe-Radebe to apply for a visa if she wants to enter the county.

Read more on:    patrice motsepe  |  political interference  |  botswana

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