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Botswana: Former president Khama slams successor Masisi, says he will sue for defamation

By Carien du Plessis
Posted on Tuesday, 24 August 2021 21:33

Botswana President Ian Khama looks on during the Botswana-South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Pretoria
Botswana President Ian Khama looks on during the Botswana-South Africa Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Pretoria, South Africa, November 11, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Sparks are flying in Gaborone. Botswana's former president Ian Khama says he will sue his successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi, and is calling on him to resign, accusing him of orchestrating a dirty-tricks campaign to discredit him ahead of the 2019 poll, which dragged in Bridgette Motsepe, sister-in-law to South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“The idea was to get us into prison [and] embarrass us,” Khama said in an interview with The Africa Report on Tuesday. “It became apparent very soon that [the claim] wasn’t true, at least the majority of people did not believe it.”

“Butterfly” free

Botswana High Court judge Zein Kebonang on 23 August ruled that the charges of financing terrorism and corruption in the case against former intelligence agent Welheminah Maswabi, codenamed Butterfly, were “fabricated and are outright false”.

The case started in 2019 but never got properly underway.