Businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe addresses coup allegations against her. Photo: Khanyisile Ngcobo/IOL.
Businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe addresses coup allegations against her. Photo: Khanyisile Ngcobo/IOL.

Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe to sue Botswana newspaper over coup claims

By Khanyisile Ngcobo Time of article published Oct 31, 2019

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Johannesburg - Businesswoman Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe is suing a Botswana newspaper over reports linking her to an alleged plot to oust Botswana's current president. 

Earlier this year, Motsepe-Radebe and Malcolm X were accused of being at the centre of a plot to topple Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Botswana-based newspaper Sunday Standard published a series of damning articles linking Motsepe-Radebe and Malcom X to a detailed plot that also allegedly involved Ian Khama.

According to the paper, the plotters reportedly wanted Masisi to be replaced with former cabinet minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, who was reportedly Khama’s preferred candidate ahead of the congress that was held in Kang in April this year.

A meeting by the plotters against Masisi was allegedly intercepted in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Malcolm X and Motsepe-Radebe, wife of former minister Jeff Radebe and sister-in-law to President Cyril Ramaposa, were reportedly detained and interrogated by Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation before being deported back to South Africa.

The meeting, which was to be attended by the two South Africans, Khama and US diplomat Andrew Young, was allegedly aimed at channelling about 60million pula (R79m) to Venson-Moitoi’s campaign.

The money was reportedly going to be used to buy votes for Venson-Moitoi in her Botswana Democratic Party presidential bid.

Bridgette Motsepe-Radebe speaks of the allegations contained in the Botswana publication Sunday Standard. She is suing the publication over the reports linking her to a plot to oust Botswana's president. @IOL

— Khanyisile (@Khanyi_Seele) October 31, 2019

The businesswoman have since been added to a list of undesirable individuals who should apply for a visa before entering Botswana.

Motsepe-Radebe held a press briefing on Thursday morning where she addressed the various allegations made against her and spoke of her decision to break her silence now.

Some of the claims peddled include that Motsepe-Radebe is involved in money laundering, terrorism and regime change in the country. 

"Two days ago, I got an affidavit of this new case... that I'm funding terrorism and now a co-signatory in money that has been stolen from Botswana. 

"I then realised, let me just, before our newspapers get frustrated again in me not going into a Sunday Standard tit-for-tat conversation... let me rather call the media and just give my story," she said. 

Motsepe-Radebe has been linked to a corruption case involving a Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) agent Welheminah Mphoeng Maswabi. 

The businesswoman denied all the allegations against her, including of her romantic involvement with Khama. 

She maintained that her family's relationship Khama went back decades ago when her father befriended Khama's father, Seretse Khama, while they were both students at Fort Hare University.

Motsepe-Radebe confirmed she was taking legal action against the Sunday Standard over the "nonsense" they had written about her.

"I am going to sue the newspaper by the way," she told reporters. 

Motsepe-Radebe would not be drawn into whether Masisi was behind the campaign against her, saying she only knew what she'd read and seen and said such questions should be directed to his office. 


Editor's Note: We previously reported that the Botswana-based newspaper, The Sunday Standard, published a series of articles in which it was alleged that Dr Patrice Motsepe was involved in a detailed  plot to topple Botswana president Mokgweetsi Masisi. We subsequently became aware that The Sunday Standard published a retraction of these allegations levelled against Dr Motsepe on 8 April 2019. We have therefore removed Dr Motsepe’s name from this article and apologise to him for this oversight and any misunderstanding that the reference to him may have caused.

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