The background to the case is that a micro-finance company, GetBucks, was reported to have misappropriated hundreds of millions of Pula intended to develop the business in terms of growing the loan book. The funds were diverted offshore.
The funds were raised from the Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) through a P1 billion note programme. At the time, the company was under the captaincy of Mr David van Niekerk. After some funds were moved offshore, Van Niekerk sold his shares and was no longer involved in the management of the company.
After some time, the company was found to have been insolvent. A forensic investigation was done, and a report was released revealing how the funds were moved offshore. A public statement was issued by the current management of Get Bucks stating explicitly that Van Niekerk was to blame for the company’s insolvency.
Business Weekly & Review reported the contents of the forensic report which was done by a reputable company, and quoted the company’s public statement. BWR ran a series of seven articles in different editions between August 2022 and February 2023.
Van Niekerk filed a defamation lawsuit against BWR complaining that the articles damaged his reputation and business interests, demanding P2,5 million. The case is yet to be heard.