Botswana Ash’s Managing Director Montwedi Mphathi’s sex secrets came tumbling out of the closet this week when details of an extra-marital affair emerged in court.
The high profile MD who came to prominence as the first Motswana to be appointed BCL Mine General Manager in 2003, was exposed when his alleged mistress was hauled before the Francistown Magistrates’ court on allegations of intimidation.
A Francistown court heard details of Mphathi’s relationship with 36-year-old unemployed One Mpe Ganayaone Bena Gwafila of Taung location in Gaborone after the MD’s wife reported her for sending intimidating messages.
Through her defence attorney Isaac Seleka, Gwafila pleaded not guilty, arguing that she never sent any message to the complainant.
She is accused of threatening to cause unlawful injury to the reputation of one Vinga Mphathi (Mphathi’s wife) by sending countless intimidating cell-phone text messages.
According to court papers the accused person started sending the allegedly threatening cell-phone text messages to the complainant in September 2011 and stopped around mid October after the matter was reported to the police.
Testifying in court this week Vinga described the day she first received the messages informing her of her husband’s involvement with Gwafila.
She said one of the messages read: “Go tswa mo go lona, You can sue or will e-mail what I am on about or hear from the public latest technology, social network.
Biggest scandal of the year…. This is an angry person who will do anything to vent, Sowa Town will soon know what they are dealing with.”
Vinga added that the sender continued to torment her with threatening and hurtful text messages containing serious allegations.
The court heard that the sender stated in another text message: “People who are promiscuous need to be exposed, ke ne ke re o Mma Mphathi.”
Another message directed at Vinga stated: “ke di tiro tsa monna, ba re wena o worse mo di promiscuity but it will get the revelation before the end of this week, I am still compiling.”
She told the court that the messages started to get on her nerves, and she called her husband who did not answer her calls.
Since he was chairing a workshop in Gaborone, Vinga concluded that her husband was busy.
“I then started forwarding the messages to my husband,” she told the court.
The sender never stopped sending messages until her husband came back from Gaborone.
When she confronted him over the messages she reported that a heated argument erupted resulting in her taking alcohol excessively in a bar in Sowa Town.
After continued arguments she said that Mphathi confessed that he had had an extra marital relationship with another woman.
She said when her husband suggested ending the affair the alleged mistress demanded an unspecified payment.
Upon asking him about the next step, Vinga told the court that Mphathi suggested that they divorce because he had hurt her so much.
“I then took all the medication that was in the house, locked myself in the bathroom and swallowed all of them. I lost conscious and only found myself hospitalized at Tati River Hospital in Francistown,” she told the court.
Also giving testimony in court, Mphathi said he started communicating with the accused person early in 2011 after mysteriously receiving a text message.
“The message was just telling people to come and collect their presents,” said Mphathi without explaining what kind of presents the people were being invited to come and collect.
He said he told the sender that it could have been a wrong number but the communications never ended.
On one of his trips to Gaborone the two decided to meet at a secluded place in the country’s capital, the court heard.
Upon meeting at an up market hotel in Gaborone, Mphathi said he and Gwafila discussed general things.
“Later on, we slept and had sex. I cannot say we were in a love relationship,” Mphathi said although he admitted having sexual intercourse with his alleged mistress on several occasions.
All hell broke loose when he decided to terminate the relationship in June 2011. Mphathi said the woman kept on sending messages and later started threatening to expose him.
Mphathi said he pleaded with her not to expose the affair but his pleas fell on deaf ears as she started sending intimidating text messages and threatened to take the matter to the media or publishing it on social media networks.
The case continues.