Ernesto's Briefs

President Masisi’s administration faces reputational and credibility crises from all corners – and all these on account of one man – Peter Magosi!

Sadly, and I mean it from the depth of my being, there is nothing that President Mokgweetsi Masisi can do. He is helpless and completely surrounded.

Just like Ian Khama before him, who also was beholden to his Spy Chief, the Director-General of the infamous Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Isaac Kgosi – Masisi has inherited the institution and its culture!

Surely, the position of DISS Director-General is the most powerful in the State apparatus – I mean if one man has power over the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, who else can be above him?

When he ascended to the helm, Magosi made all the right promises to a gullible public that had endured ten years of total and absolute tyranny – a public yearning for freedom!

In the excitement of the moment, we let our guard down. We left Magosi and his master to lord it over us. Soon they became the masters and we the servants. Now, the cookie is crumbling, the sh*t has hit the fan and all of a sudden everyone is waking up to the reality of our democracy!

This is an infiltrated democracy run by men and women with divided loyalties. There is no synergy between the arms of government. It is a fluid system on autopilot. We are all surviving by the grace of God.

And very soon this groundswell of dissent, inspired by the government’s continuous gaffes, will incite a clampdown as we have never seen in this country.

Therefore, let us stand our guard because at the rate we are going you can bet your bottom dollar that 2024 may be just a mirage for many!

There have been so many state blunders we can no longer keep count, but the latest court ruling by Justice Abednico Tafa instructing the police to return the guns they had seized from Isaac Kgosi takes the prize!

What really worries me is what this really means for the security of this country! I get a feeling that this country could be teeming with guns and ammunition in private hands – and most notably in the hands of retired servicemen.

Another group that may be keeping lots of guns and ammunition is the cattle barons, in the comfort of their farms, far away from the prying city lights.

Add to this mix of ex-soldiers, ex-DIS spies, and farmers the criminal cross-border crime syndicates that have lately rained terror on our financial sector – then you have a real powder keg in your midst. I am afraid this powder keg could explode in our faces just about any time!

So what do we do, if the centre is infiltrated and can no longer function as a unit? It’s an open secret that we have no oversight institutions that can conceivably defend our democracy, no, not even the citizenry is brave enough to protest in a bid to stem the tide of this approaching tidal wave!

The system has us all cowed, not even your alternative parties can come to our rescue they are a part of the system! Their loyalties lie elsewhere, they are not with the people, but with their benefactors, their bankrollers, financiers and handlers!

Okay, let us sober up and analyse the real situation. Isaac Kgosi wins big. He gets his guns back. All the crimes he was accused of turned out to be tell-tales with no substance to sustain in court.

Two plausible scenarios come to mind – either this was a rushed case or it was politically motivated. In the case of the latter, it could only fail, if the system did not manage to get its ‘person’ within the judiciary to dispense swift justice.

And in the event of the former scenario, it would suggest a disconnect between the investigating units- Police, Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime, DIS – and the Prosecuting Authority, Directorate on Public Prosecutions (DPP). Come to think of it this seems the more plausible explanation given the bad blood that exists between the heads of all these units.

Remember the Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe has been suspended from service in connection with a case linking the self-exiled ex-president to some guns! The same fate (suspension) has also befallen the DCEC Director-General Tymon Katlholo, who had the audacity to challenge the DIS Director-General to the extent of usurping the powers of the Attorney General, Abraham Keetshabe!

As for the DISS boss Peter Magosi, he is the man of the moment. He is the State. He has the President’s ear! In fact, all indications are that he is the one in control.

And all this bad blood between the three men heading the Police, DCEC and DISS has to be borne by none other than the DPP Director, Stephen Tiroyakgosi. This is the man who is losing cases left, right and centre. Surely this besmirches his Curriculum Vitae!

This Tiroyakgosi has had the misfortune of being accused of bungling or mishandling high-stakes criminal cases! He is even been accused of enlisting a South African lawyer, Gery Nel with links to a pro-apartheid group, AfriForum in the P100 billion theft case that implicated the former president!

At this juncture, the DCEC boss, Tymon Katlholo’s future at the organisation hangs by a thread – and a very thin one! A judge of the High Court has ruled in his favour that he was within his legal bounds when he engaged a private lawyer to secure the investigation files that the DISS wanted from his office!

Of course, this ruling is much to the DISS and AG’s annoyance. They will not take it lying down. If it has to go to the appeals court, you can be sure that’s where it will end! The DISS, and certainly the AG, will not be undermined by the courts, the principle of separation of powers notwithstanding! Again, it is us the common folk that suffer! As all these shenanigans play out in the open, it is the taxpayer’s money that goes down the drain. Meantime, we have to deal with the rising cost of living that makes life unbearable!

We have to deal with high petrol prices – yes, we understand this is on account of exogenous factors beyond our control, but it is the same system that has collapsed and run down the Fuel Levy Fund which acted as a subsidy and a cushion in such eventualities.

In a democracy, the voice of the people is the voice of God! The nation must stand up to speak with one voice against the derailment that seems destined to lead this country down the abyss!

Again, we say, forewarned is forearmed! And only if the President had heeded the questions posed by yours truly at his first post-election press conference on how he would manage his Cabinet and Members of Parliament loyalties and how he would stem the north-south divide which threatened national cohesion?

On the surface, these appeared light questions that could just be wished away but three years later, they continue to haunt the administration and have indeed plunged the country into disunity.

Now, this is when the President must rise up and prove his mettle as a Leader. He must lead from the front. He must drastically cut down on the foreign trips and concentrate on the home front. Anything less is to kiss the seat of power goodbye come 2024!