Prime Suspect in president Assassination plot seeks political office
Despite a well publicised mutiny case with details that involved threats to assassinate the president, Retired Lt. Col Joseph Molefe has resurfaced to seek political office.
The Mahalapye West Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary candidate was a prime suspect in the Botswana Defence Force mutiny case in 2001.
The former head of 205 Armoured Regiment ,Molefe was put under house arrest after he was linked to disturbing soldiers revolt threats at the military barracks at No 1 and No 2 Military garrison in Francistown which were followed by the torching of the BDF kitchen.
Another incident that Molefe was questioned over involved a BDF shirt that was found suspended on the pedestrian bridge overflying the railway tracks in Francistown.
It bore pictures of former President Festus Mogae, the then Commander of the Botswana Defence Force Lieutenant General Matshwenyego Fisher and a group of soldiers with a demand for salary increment inscribed on it.
The writing on the T-shirt also threatened war should the soldiers’ demands not be granted.
As a prime suspect Molefe was court marshalled but his lawyer successfully made an application for the case to be withdrawn because the investigating officer did not get authority from the Attorney Generals Chamber to retrieve documents used to incriminate him from the BDF office.
“Those documents included leave application forms which the investigating team had used to compare hand writings to those used on the shirt,” said an officer who was close to the investigating team.
Molefe was however transferred with immediate effect to Force Training Establishment (FTE), at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks in Mogoditshane, where he took up a new post of Director of Studies.
Reached for a comment Molefe absolved himself from any wrong doing.
He said the case was withdrawn before it could even go for trial.
“I am innocent. I don’t remember anything or the details pertaining to that case because I knew I was not guilty.
I was never shaken by it,” he said, adding that as a disciplined officer in the army he wasn’t going to harbour ambitions to topple the government.
BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi said Molefe was not a threat to the government. In the BDP there are former army generals like former Vice-President Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe and President Lt.Gen Ian Khama who have the ability to deal with such people within a blink of an eye, should the need arise, Balopi said.
Asked why they allowed a character suspected of a crime of that magnitudeBalopi answered: “We are hamstrung by the fact that the case in question was withdrawn.”