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Seretse paid P25k for meeting Bluethorn Executives

Former Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse, was paid P25,000 per month from April to November 2019 for meeting with Executives of Bluethorn Asset Managers as a Consultant.

That was after he resigned from the company in 2016, a few months after it was granted a license by Non Banking Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA).

He was one of the Directors together with former Kweneng District Council Chairman Jeffrey Sibisibi and one Angelbracht from South Africa.

This was revealed at the ongoing Inquiry into the liquidation of Bluethorn Asset Managers, the company believed to have swindled investors an estimated P220 million between 2016 and 2019.

The inquiry is chaired by the Registrar and Master of the High Court and provoked by NBFIRA and led by the liquidator Kopanang Thekiso. Others are individuals and private entities.

Among the entities or creditors demanding their money back is Kweneng District Council, Kgatleng District Council, Southern District Council, Gantsi District Council, Tlokweng Landboard, Malete Landboard, BOSETU, and Botswana Association of Local Authories (BALA).

Bluethorn Asset managers bank accounts were frozen in November 2019 and the company later liquidated in 2021.

Sibisibi was Council Chairman for Kweneng District Council between 2014 and 2019 and is currently the president of BALA.

While in the dock, Seretse said he was engaged by a company called Practical Housing to conduct research on property development, marketing, and other related matters between April and November and was paid P25,000 per month for his work, by Bluethorn Holdings.

When asked whether there was any written document or contract about his engagement or whether he has produced any document, he said the agreement was verbal.

He said he regularly met with Executives from Bluethorn Holdings to debrief them hence the P25,000.00 per month payment, which was a fair payment for his wealth of experience in property development matters.

The creditors argued that they have information to the effect that Seretse never attended meetings at Bluethorn Holdings but he stated that he did meet with principals from Bluethorn Holdings, and from Practical Housing.

Extract from the Cross examination of Seretse by the creditors’ representatives;

Q: Did you issue invoice for work done?

A: No, it was an oral agreement and it was also a part time job.

Q: Why did you meet with people who were not recorded anywhere as directors of Practical Housing?

A: I assumed they were the principals.

Q: Did you not see it odd that you were paid by a different company that did not engage you?

A: No, it was not odd, there I was told that all payments would be done by Bluethorn Holdings which was the umbrella company. It’s a model they use.