Founder and Chairman of African Rainbow Energy and Power Patrice Motsepe. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)
Billionaire businessman Patrice Motsepe has dismissed allegations that he funded a regime-change plot in Botswana, saying he has no interest in the neighbouring country’s politics.

The mining mogul admitted to meeting former Botswana president Ian Khama, but denied bankrolling his political ambitions.

Khama cut ties with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), formed by his father Sir Seretse Khama, to start a new party, the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) after a fallout with his successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Botswana’s weekly papers, the Sunday Standard and Gazette, last month reported that Khama “secretly” met Motsepe in Joburg to “strategise” on how to topple Masisi.

The two papers alleged that Motsepe, the founder and chairperson of African Rainbow Minerals, was bankrolling the plot to overthrow Masisi.

The Mamelodi Sundowns owner has since instituted legal action against Sunday Standard, which went on to publish a series of reports around the allegations.

In a statement yesterday, Motsepe’s legal team said he did not pay or contribute a cent for political purposes in the neighbouring country.

“The allegations that he pledged R22million to any political party or persons, or that he was involved in or was party to smuggling money into Botswana, are absolutely false and malicious,” read the statement.

It further said the request for Motsepe to have a brief, courtesy meeting at OR Tambo International Airport with Khama was agreed to “because of the old family friendship and ties between their families”.

The duo’s late fathers met as students at the University of Fort Hare many years ago.

“We do not want to get involved and have no interest in the politics of Botswana or the development of any political party,” read the statement.