Letlole’s P1m tender given to deputy chair
Executives reportedly ignored issues of conflict of interest
Letlole La Rona awarded a conveyancing tender of four properties to Minchin & Kelly during a time when its Managing Partner, Terence Dambe, sat on the board of the property company, The Business Weekly & Review has established. Infact Dambe was deputy chair and reported to then board chair Boitumelo Mogopa.
Insiders say there was a clear conflict of interest that was overlooked by the executives, especially the board which was working closely with Dambe, who is the Head of the Real Estate Division at Minchin & Kelly.
Dambe’s practice includes real estate (transfers, mining titles, subdivisions, bonds, sectional titles, consolidations and land control transactions), energy and natural resources, estates and trusts.
When Letlole was selling its properties to Cresta Marakanelo in 2018, he instructed that the then CEO, Chikuni Shenjere-Mutiswa, should give to Minchin & Kelly the tender of transferring the properties. The properties were four immovable commercial hotel properties, namely Plot 50719 Cresta Lodge in Gaborone, Plot 1169 Main Mall in Gaborone, Plot 6348 Thapama Hotel in Francistown and Plot 267 Bosele Hotel in Selibe Phikwe.
According to court documents seen by this publication, Letlole gave Minchin & Kelly the work which was worth atleast P1 million. Dambe’s main focus is real estate, where he provides support to the law firm's corporate and commercial department in various transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, shareholder agreements and securitisation of finance transactions. This means he was directly dealing with the Letlole.
Insiders say executives at Cresta were aware of this. The board chair Mogopa was aware as well as the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee (ARAC).
This is more so because Armstrong Attorneys raised concerns about the tender, which was given to a board member. However, it is said they both ignored the issues of conflict of interest that this raised.
In an interview with Dambe, he said his interests were at all times disclosed and declared in full compliance with corporate governance principles.
“ As directors we would be required to make declarations of interest annually. I declared my interest as a partner of Minchin & Kelly accordingly. Whenever there was a matter on the agenda of any meeting of the board in which I may have an interest (such as the Cresta transaction), I would again formally declare my interest; Mine and any other director’s interests as service providers are stated in the annual report of the company,” explained Dambe.
Letlole had not responded to questions from this publication at the time of gong to press.