Pardoned ex-convict demands VIP land, e-passport a farm, a business and a driver’s licence
A pardon for a convicted rapist has landed the Office of the President (OP) in hot soup, apparently he has done many Pardon Applications before. This was following President Ian Khama’s pardon for the convict before he could finish his 10- year- jail sentence.
Paul Van Staden was found guilty of raping a woman in an incident that occurred in Bokspits in December 2001. The pardon for the ex-convict has come back to haunt the OP,
Two years before he completed his sentence, Staden became a beneficiary of a discreet and unexpected Presidential pardon. And that is when his outrageous demands began.
Threatening government with a lawsuit if they didn’t comply, Staden wrote a letter to OP demanding P540 million compensation; a VIP piece of land to be granted within seven days of receiving his letter, a farm, ‘business plot as big as Riverwalk’ and a driver’s licence.
In papers seen by The Voice, on or about November 10 2010 Staden wrote to President Khama requesting for a review of his sentence. He argued that his victim had indicated that the rape involved two other men; therefore it was unfair for him to have stood trial alone.
“I am asking for His Excellency the President of Botswana to intervene in this matter, which I was involved in. I was sentenced alone to 10 years imprisonment and yet the other culprits never faced trial,” reads part of the letter to the president, which The Voice is in possession of.
“Your Excellency should I not be free now after I had served an injustice upon myself of ten years of my life behind bars, therefore I should be compensated for this matter, which the state has done unto me,” the ex-convict said in the letter
The Voice investigations revealed that on or about 31 March 2011, the office of the President refused Staden’s demands.
A letter signed by one Thapelo Phuthego, the then Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), advised Staden to lodge his complains with the Court of Appeal as the appropriate institution to determine whether he was unlawfully detained and entitled to compensation.
However, three months later government changed its tune and decided to comply with the ex-convict’s demands.
In a savingram, signed by T.T Motingwa and dated June, 06, 2011 from the PSP to the Secretary of Tlokweng Sub Land Board, labelled |Staden ‘a person who has disabilities (psychiatric)’appealed to the landboard to assist OP in identifying a residential plot in Tlokweng for Stadan “of which our office will assist in possible ways of building him a shelter,” (sic)
Tlokweng Sub Land Board, The Voice has learnt, immediately complied and allocated Staden a residential plot.
Reached for comment the man who signed the savingram and coordinator of the people living with disabilities, Thomas Motingwa said, “he wrote to my office to ask for a piece of land, upon affirmative discourse we decided that he be granted the plot in Tlokweng but he then decided to sell the plot and we had to stop him,” Motingwa said.
Then, on September, 19, 2011,Motingwa wrote to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs requesting that Staden be assisted with an E-passport, which formed part of his demands as compensation for injustice meted out to him by government.
Government, however, later reclaimed the land after learning Staden was on the verge of selling his plot.
The madness continued when on March 15, 2013 Government ordered the Director at Department of Transport and Communications to assist Staden to acquire a driver’s licence.