Former minister Unity Dow has entered the fray in the raging saga of alleged failure of the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Annah Mokgethi, to explain what happened to the estate of the late Abdul Joseph. This is contained in a letter that the current executor of Joseph’s estate, Lesedi Moahi, wrote to the Master of the High Court.
The multi-million pula estate that includes movable and immovable property, businesses and livestock is currently the subject of an intense legal battle between the Minister Mokgethi and Abdul’s granddaughter, Dawn Masenya. Mokgethi was given 30 working days to have complied with both High Court and Court of Appeal orders to give a full account of the estate but was granted an extension by the High Court to compile a report on the estate.
Moahi the executor informed the Master of the High Court: “Please take note that I have, as at the 29th day of October 2021, in my capacity as the executor to the said estate, been served with what purports to be a joint will of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph by Honourable Unity Dow.”
He told the Master that during their discussion leading “to service of the said will, she indicated to me that she has not been aware at all material times that she has the said document in her possession which might have gained during her stint involvement in the matter.
“My humble view is that the document cannot be ignored in that the net effect of a joint will in my view is the surviving spouse cannot deal anyhow with the property unless as per the will. Therefore, subject to the attitude of the heirs and their representatives, the ongoing litigation might not be necessary or at the very least in futility therefore the contents of same needs to be put to the attention of all the parties concerned,” Dow said.
Moahi added that a perusal of the files submitted to him suggest that there are monthly estate expenses that need to be honoured and it is not clear whether that has been done as he does not have access to the accounts yet. “In addition thereto, I have to appoint an accountant to crystalise the accounting information submitted by the former executor and form an opinion same but not until I have access to the accounts same,” he said. “Lastly, I am yet to have a reply on the invoices submitted by the Khumomotse Law Practice and forwarded to your office for consideration.”
Before it emerged that Dow, who is a former High Court judge, had waded into the matter, Mokgethi’s lawyers, Rahim Khan & Company Attorneys, had stated in a letter dated 8 October 2021 addressed to the Registrar of the High Court: “Our clients through her reports dated 21 September and September 2021 complied with the order of the Court of Appeal dated 6th August 2021.”
Through her first report, Mokgethi’s lawyers said she had submitted a copy of Botswana Building Society bank statements from October 2012 to October 2017 and a copy of Botswana Building Society bank statements from 1st October 2017 to 4 August 2021, copies of administration costs incurred in running the estate, statements of request for funds from an account held by Botswana Building Society, statements of request for funds from Shareen Pandor and all the disbursements made to her and fee notes from other attorneys, among other things.
Mokgethi’s lawyers added that in her first report she had also provided an affidavit deponed by one Deon Joseph, a caretaker of livestock and an heir to the estate, as part of her efforts to account for all livestock under the deceased’s brand.
“Client has provided a full inventory in her supplementary report including all the agricultural property present and their current valuations,” Mokgethi’s lawyers asserted. “Further there (have) been no acquisitions or disposals of the agricultural equipment.”