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Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe to sue over Botswana money laundering claims

Allegations that she laundered $10 billion from Botswana surfaced again after AfriForum announced that it had been appointed by Botswana to prosecute Motsepe-Radebe.

FILE: Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe at a press briefing on 31 October 2019. Picture: Nthakoana Ngatane/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe on Wednesday said that she had appointed Omnia Strategy LLP to clear her reputation and take legal action against those tarnishing it.

Allegations that she laundered $10 billion from Botswana surfaced again after AfriForum announced that it had been appointed by Botswana to prosecute Motsepe-Radebe, who is married to the former Cabinet minister and ANC veteran Jeff Radebe.

The businesswoman maintained that the claims were ridiculous and baseless.

Omnia Strategy LLP is a legal firm owned by Cherie Blair.

Motsepe-Radebe said that she was surprised that AfriForum was excited about what she called a “witch-hunt”.

“I have appointed international law firm Omnia Strategy LLP, led by Cherie Blair CBE QC, and a leading international business intelligence company, Alaco Limited, to conduct an independent investigation into these allegations.

“I am in consultation with my lawyers and intend to sue all parties who have publicly made false accusations about me in the Hubona affidavit,” she said.

Motsepe-Radebe said she would not allow this to affect her relations with her family, which included brother-in-law President Cyril Ramaphosa and brother, billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe.

“There is no truth to these allegations. I have never laundered money. I have denied these allegations since December last year on the basis of readily available evidence, which has already been widely reported on in both South Africa and Botswana media.

“The allegations in Mr Jako Hubona’s affidavit have already been discredited and refuted before the Botswana High Court, including by an analyst who conducted a forensic investigation into the claims and has confirmed on oath that Blue Flies and Fire Flies are not registered companies. Furthermore, both Absa and Nedbank have also confirmed in writing that the bank accounts referred to, do not exist,” she said.

Motsepe-Radebe said that letters were written to all the banks that allegedly received the billions and all their responses would be publicised.

MOTSEPE-RADEBE SLAMS AFRIFORUM

Meanwhile, Motsepe-Radebe said she was disappointed that AfriForum was already making statements about prosecuting her before asking her anything.

Last year, as Botswana was preparing to go to elections allegations of terrorism and money laundering were levelled against former President Ian Khama and Motsepe-Radebe.

Intelligence officer Weliminah Maswabi was arrested for allegedly being a signatory to accounts that received the money in South Africa.

Motsepe-Radebe recalled that the banks cleared them and said she was surprised that AfriForum believed that there was anything to find.

“It would have been good and I would have welcomed it if there was some approach to me,” she said. “And I would have said why don’t you go to the Reserve Bank of Botswana, the South Africa Reserve Bank, and the two banks and let them tell you whether they hid the money on my behalf.”

Motsepe-Radebe maintained that she would cooperate with all investigations to clear her name, but warned AfriForum not to fuel racial tensions by being used to tarnish her reputation.

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