Top cops face fraud charges

MASERU — Four senior police officers are facing charges of corruption, fraud, bribery and theft by false pretence.

They are also accused of obstructing the course of justice.

Assistant Police Commissioners Dlamini Mphatšoane and Thakane Theko together with Inspector Habofanoe Lepheane appeared briefly before the Maseru magistrate court on Tuesday but were not asked to plead.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Tumelo Moseme was not present in court because he was out of the country.

The four are charged together with local businesswoman Rebecca Makhalemele and her two companies – Linare Clothing and New Vision Suppliers.

Also charged are Phethang Mpota and Sekoala Motsoasele who are senior managers for Boliba Savings and Credit, a local cooperatives bank.

Makhalemele, Mpota and Motsoasele also appeared in court on Tuesday but like the three officers, they were not asked to plead. 

Magistrate Molemo Monethi remanded the seven suspects out of custody on free bail with conditions that they should not interfere with crown witnesses, police investigations, and that they should attend court hearings when required.

The seven were nabbed by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) in March following an investigation that lasted for more than six months and dug deep into their bank accounts to unravel the extent of their alleged sleaze.

They are accused of conniving to rig tenders for the supply of the police’s new uniforms for the special operations unit which is headed by Mphatšoane.

The charge sheet portrays a well-planned scheme that the seven are alleged to have hatched to rig tenders and falsify documents.

By the time they were caught, the state alleges, the accused had rigged tenders worth hundreds of thousands of maloti.

The police officers had pocketed M125 000 in bribes from Makhalemele, the state claims.

The state alleges that their sleaze started in 2009 when the police decided to introduce a new type of uniform for the special operations unit.

Mphatšoane was chairman of the police’s tender evaluation team and a member of the Commissioner’s Advisory Board.

“At all material time (Makhalemele) had always been in contact with (Mphatšoane and Theko) who were long time friends,” reads part of the charge sheet.

Makhalemele allegedly prepared three quotations using the names of CSM Suppliers (Pty) Ltd, Smarttech (Pty) Ltd and Pearl Imperial Suppliers (Pty) Ltd for the tender to supply 44 sets of uniforms.

Directors of the three companies did not know that their companies had quoted for the tender and had not authorised anybody to submit their quotations to the police’s procurement unit, it is alleged.

Makhalemele allegedly ordered her secretary “to submit the three quotations specifically to (Mphatšoane) and no one else.”

After receiving the quotations Mphatšoane and Theko are said to have “prepared a requisition and submitted it to the procurement unit of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) together with the quotations under the misrepresentation that Pearl Imperial . . . had won the tender.”

An amount of M98 340 was paid to Pearl Imperial account at Boliba Savings and Credit for the supply of 44 sets of uniforms, the state alleges.

Makhalemele then allegedly connived with Mpota, the Boliba Savings and Credit branch manager, and Sekoala Motsoasele, the general manager, to divert the payment from Pearl Imperial’s account to New Vision Suppliers, a company owned by the businesswoman.

In November 2009, before the delivery of the uniform, Mphatšoane allegedly made an application for a selective tendering for the procurement of yet another batch of 360 sets of uniform citing two of Makhalemele’s companies, New Vision Suppliers and Linare Clothing together with Pearl Imperial Suppliers and CSM Suppliers.

However, the Public Procurement Advisory Division (PPAD) rejected the application and ordered an open tender.

“During the open tender as ordered, (Mphatšoane) acted as the chairperson of the evaluation team with (Theko and Moseme) as members while (Lepheane) was the secretary,” reads part of the charge sheet.

“This open tender saw New Vision as the winner and Linare Clothing as the second best.”

It is also alleged that New Vision received a quotation for 400 combat jackets from GEOBO C&D, a company based in Korea, on April 19 last year before any need was identified by the police for the procurement of any combat jackets.

On July 6 last year, before any invitation was made to suppliers or any tender notice was issued, Mphatšoane allegedly issued a letter confirming to Boliba Savings and Credit that New Vision had won the tender to supply the police with 400 combat jackets.

This was despite the fact that the tender had not yet been awarded.

On August 26, 2010 the consignment of 400 combat jackets arrived in Lesotho from Korea addressed to the LMPS but marked New Vision on the packaging.

“During all this time, no tender procedures had begun at LMPS nor anywhere else regarding the said procurement,” the charge sheet says.

During the same month, a tender notice was issued for the first time and in October another of Makhalemele’s companies, Linare Clothing, was granted the tender to supply the 400 combat jackets.

By that time the jackets were already in Lesotho.

The uniforms were on February 17 and 18 this year seized by DCEO investigators at Makhalemele’s private residence in Pitseng in Leribe and her offices in Maseru.

Moseme had earlier been asked by DCEO if he knew about the 400 combat jackets but he allegedly denied any knowledge.

It is alleged that on March 10, 2011 Moseme signed a contract between the police and Makhalemele’s Linare Clothing for the supply of the combat jacket even though he knew that the DCEO was already investigating the matter.

“In signing the said contract, the accused knew full well that he was interfering with the investigations by portraying as if the said procurement was lawful,” says the charge.

Between March 29 and April 23 the payments for the 44 and 360 sets of uniforms were paid into Theko’s personal account.

In the bribery charge, Magistrate Molemo Monethi said Mphatšoane, Moseme, Theko and Lepheane allegedly received M125 000 from Makhalemele in May last year, which was paid to them through separate transactions as a reward for awarding the tenders.

The charge sheet says on May 4 last year Makhalemele paid Theko M20 000 in cash while two days earlier she had paid her M70 000 through a bank transfer.

On August 15 Makhalemele further paid Theko M30 000 through a bank transfer and on August 21 she also dished out M5 000 to the top policewoman in cash.

The crown said the top cops acted in concert to commit bribery.

In March this year the Sunday Express, the Lesotho Times’ sister publication, was the first to report about the discovery of the uniforms by DCEO.

The uniforms were unloaded from three vans at the DCEO offices, sources close to the matter said.

The Sunday Express witnessed as the uniforms were being loaded into a government truck behind the DCEO offices two weeks later.

The uniforms were taken to an unannounced place as the DCEO did the job secretly.

The truck which was full to capacity was covered with a blue police tent.

The Sunday Express was barred from taking pictures with threats of legal action should any picture of the trucks be published.

The DCEO staff that loaded the truck worked quickly to avoid any suspicion from the public that was passing in a busy Constitution Road.

The truck was loaded and covered within 40 minutes.

The suspects will appear in court again on July 1.

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48 thoughts on “Top cops face fraud charges

  1. Lesotho ho qosoa batho ba mali-mabe fela. Ba jang chelete ka li million bona ba itsamaela bolacha seterateng.

  2. ke mesebetsi ea Letooane kaofela. A hloloa ke tsamaiso eo mosali. Bobolu maponeseng bo etsoa ke ma standard 7 (‘Mphatsoane) ba chelete tse kale kale.

  3. o tletsoe ke botsikoane ka hloohong ka mona oena thatela. o koatetse litaba tsa hao tse personal joale o ngola ntho lisele moo. Letooane ke eena a ntsa laela hore ntho tsee li etsahale? Oa mo t’saba hobane ke mosali ea matla lekoala tooe. DCEO e tlameha ho fata gorvenment kaofela, from the top to the bottom. re tseba corruption e ntse e etsahala ka hara DCEO itself. Its all a big joke.

  4. The stage is set for new world order. Batho ba tlo e amohela ka liatla tse peli ka mabaka a kang ana hara a mang a mangata, ho sa bonahale le agenda ea eona hantle. This is not good.

  5. Letooane eena o kae na banna qhafutsong ee? Ho qalile ntaote ka ea …likholo li sa tla… mark my words.

  6. Le mapolesa a liofsiri banna!! e se e le ntja tsee tse sa boneng leraba li iponela mahe feela hahahahahaha!!!!!!. Fela Taba ena ka lehlakoreng le leng e monate hobane e tlo etsa hore ba phenya-phenye ba na ba ‘musong mahafi le bona. Re ea e batla chelete eeno ea rona.

  7. Sepa-sa-kelello June 3, 2011 at 1:08 am - Reply

    thats a job well done from DCEO.it is now up to the courts to do their part, and impose a severe punishment where applicable. those cops should never get away with that.

  8. Ho ile hoa thoe uniform e sotho kea likhukhuni empa ja u siele e putsoa ena sekeeee bobolu bo moo khidik. Sepolesa sa heso se palamang lipere hantle hoetsahala eng ka hare ho sepolesa? Na re tsepe hore le tla re sebeletsa kapa sepolesa ka bo sona ke masholu? Tsela eo le re tlontlollang ka eona le saletsoe fela ke ho kena matlung a rona le utsoe. Seeeee! ka utloa ke nyontse heee, lona hara batho phoooooo!

  9. Hantle kea bona DCEO ha eka fasollwa matsoho e ka phetha mosebetsi ka bo kgabane.ha ba kwallwe ka mosing ba robatswe le tau e rora…ehle ba je,ba fopotlehile ha kakang!bo madi-mabe ke ba hore yona uniform yeno ha e fuwe le mapolesa ana a di sono,u bona ebile ba ya spaneng ka dibokate tse tabohileng mangoleng.

  10. ke bona ba e jele hantle hobane ‘muso ha o batle ho ba nyollela meputso ba ichebile bo bona feela ha e jooeng hle banna chelete ke lesotho mona

  11. ke tlatsana le wena mathafeng ‘me o tlo bone e tlo fella feela,ntho e tla o makatsa PM o re o batla re be boemong ba SADC empa mekholong ha re lekane hobaneng lebaka ke lefeng?

  12. ba luletse hore mapolesa a manyane a bolile, athe ba nka ho bona. He ba re tlontlolotse. ha ba itokolle kaofela ba e hae for the image of police. haele moseme ena o laehile. bohlola ba hae le rebecca bo mo kentse ka hare. he was not involved in the first place. When you think you are above everything , that ‘s your down fall. Thakane ena o meharo too much. She knew it was coming. Mphatsoane sorrie nfana, ba o kentse ka hare le lepheana, ha lea hlokomela. Thakane le moseme bane ba bona hantle bona naa ba ntse ba etsang ke bakhotsi ba rebecca.

  13. hantle ntle, nnete ke hore the so said sepolesa sa lesotho is nothing but a disguised and officially armed bundits of militia and thieves, ka ha ke ea le tseba ke tla nne ke hlakise hore ther ar few good guys in lmps for our country, ha ke batle le ho le qanolla ka mabitso , feela koloinyana tsee tsa patrol literopong moo bosiu le malibohong moo, joale le tsona ofsiri tsee tsa bobolu ar example tsa masholu, empa hee , li kholo li sa tla, ke batla le hobosehe ho feta mona

  14. “mapolesa ting a ba bolai, le ba bolaee batho ba matlama eea tla ts’enolo motho o tla shoa a se apare seaparo sa sepola” he said. Banna hona he ke bothata, if we had minister of public safety and security it was his turn to stand up but eish!

    Na basotho lea bona management oa sepolesa kaofela is trapped in this living hell, sepolesa see se tlo tsamaisoa ke mang? ha re iketsiseng rere ba tla hlola this case, hana joale tsamisong teng? hana case ea Ntaote eona? evidence ea bank transfer eona ba tla e feta joang le thier signatures? banna ache he hona he ke mathata

  15. motho ea ipitsang mosotho u re re tlohele batho baa hoba hoohlee moo ho joalo, ke bona ba tlamehang ho thiba empa baa tlatseletsaa, ke ea u utloela hore u hav given up but i am not cuz hona le batho ba shoang letirally duying from hunger lesotho moono, thats what gets me mad

  16. Ao che ke sono ka bana bana ba ntate molimo, ha o ts’aba u ts’abe chelete! He ke moeki e moholo ntho e ntlenyana eno le eona ses man!Askis guys at least Jackpot e tla le hira hleng don’t worry.

  17. Mosebeletsi oa ‘muso ea tjametsoeng ke liqoso tsa tlolo ea molao ke hopola a tlameha ho behelloa ka thoko ho mosebetsi ho fihlela nyeoe ea hae e fela. Na babelaelloa ba ba ntse ba le mosebetsing?

  18. Pusong ena ea ma LCD ho nkha phu ke bobolu. At some stage I had to give a police half the can of coke as bribe. That is how low the police can go in quest for bribe. As for this DCEO thing, I am not impressed because they seem to ‘target’ certain individuals. They are used to settle political scores.

  19. Sis LMPS.
    This is what we call poetic justice.LMPS e okangoetse ke linoamali tse ratang chelete ho feta mosebetsi oa tsona.Hoshoa batho tsatsi le chabang lele likelang e.g.Selomo le ba bang ba bangata.This fools/police dont give a damn,hoo bao ahlametseng ke tjotjo.I wish the law will take its cause this time around.Hee re khathetse ke linoamali tsema.
    Phooa LMPS.

  20. Long time I knew that cosc drop out are corrupt. They are not even ashanmed of taking a bribe as litle as R5.00. Yes R5.00. Sheba feela na ho etsahalang ka likoloi tsa baeti ha ‘scorpion’ sa South Africa se le teng. Empa ha scorpion se tsamaea likoloi li ba ngata hape. Now e ea be e le kae DCEO? Are telling me that the so called DCEO is not aware that our roads are infested with stiolen vehicles? They are aware.

  21. This is what Police in Lesotho ARE made of. Mphats’oane oa le std.7 who was just promoted because he licked somebody’s @##, le Thakane oa koata who every police officer was suprised with her promotions. Moseme-kannete?? a loyal LCD card holder who had rejoined(after resigning) the LMPS just because they(LCD’S) promised him to be COMPOL after ‘Maletooane. These Top Police Bosses expect lower ranking officers to be disciplined,while they rest in the warmth of their corruption.xsooa!!

  22. @Mokoteli, so these clowns are the ones who have entrusted with rooting out corruption? These std7 clowns are the ones who are entrusted with protecting innocent lives? No wonder they failed to protect civilian lives in the name of Selomo, Maile Mosisili, Selala Sekhonyana. They were busying themselves with bribes. Nxa, sis LMPS. Sis Lehohla. Sis Size two. All of you are a shame to this country. Nxa.

  23. @Lefefooane-My point axactly! haven’t you seen this stupid practices that harras people even along Kings’way-Traffic Police will clamp your car for parking along the road whereas the Gorvment has not provided parking lots.”How silly could that be?” These stupid clowns do not practice what they preach. Ke bobolu le bohlola feela mono. Crime will never sease in this country ha feela Sepolesa sena se okametsoe ke litsotsi.

  24. @Mokoteli, u tla bona ba sekile meokho ha ba batla tjotjo. At times I have a feeling that those cosc graduates think we owe them bribe. The way they pest you in search for a R20.00 bribe is so amazing. I always get offended by those that go to harvest fm on some morning. I always switch off my radio whenever those clowns are on air telling us to be “good citizens”. The reason being that I know how corrupt they are. All of them take bribes. nxa sis.

    That taxis disappear on our roads when scorpion is there is proof enough that all of them, from size two to a traffic corp take bribes from the taxi owners, hence whenever scorpion leaves our roads become congested again. Akha, Bo Mphatsoane hoo holo e e ne e le ho lelekisa Ntatote yet le bona ba bolile. They must go rot in jail.

  25. ha se feela ba ka reng ke maphele,ba kenella hohle mona ha ba utloe,hoo holo ke tjotjo ea matekoane,le batlile mosebetsi oo le tseba hantle hore ha ona chelete,mamellang

  26. @Lefefooane- Ke maketse hore na ebe monghali Selete(ACP-CRIME) o setse jwang- he motho o rata chelete eo, machaena a tabola ho eena. That’s why Machaena a fumantsoa’ lithunya ha bonolo tjena-Ha mapolesa a manyane a tsoer’e Lechaena, u tla utloa le re”na kea tseba big boss, no mathata for me, eena ke nice toka ‘na”Ehlile they must go to jail ntja tsena!!!

  27. Who is this Rebecca? Is she the one who always appears on LTV/LNBS preaching morals and crying when talking about Mohau oa Molimo ke Koetsa?

  28. I understand he owns duplex flats tse lulang machaena feela somewhere Khubetsoana. He bobolu ha bona ho fela because even the current Deputy Commisioner Mhlakaza has a farm in wepener whom I suspect o e reketsoe ke machaena.

  29. ke se bile ke tsoafa ho nka karolo ka ho fana ka maikutlo a ka pampiring ena. Lesotho lea nyahamisa. ekare DCEO e ka qala ka PM Cabinet e hle qete ka bona kaofela. ho hlakile hore every head officer is corrupt in this goverment. how do you expect our police to take to court those who are corrupt yet they too are in the mess.

  30. KE UTLOA KE UTLOA BOHLOKO KA BATHO BANA BA BAOKAMELI,HOBANE BANE BA NTSOARE BA NQOSA KA BOBOLU.NYEOE EAKA ENTSE ELE KA LEKHOTLE.RETLA TEANA TERONKONG LE BONA.BA NTSEKISA M20.00.BONA BA JA LI THOUSANDS.HO BONA DCEO.

  31. BA ILE BA NTSOARA MAPOLESA A NTLO-KHOLO BA NTLAMA EKA KE NKILE CHELETE EA BONA.BA NTSE BA NKOMELA ATHE BA BANG BONA BAE JELLA KA LIOFFISING KA LIKATIBA TSE MORO.HO JOANG KAJENO.HOJA HO ITSOE BA EMELE NYEOE BALE TERONKONG NTJA TSENA.

  32. Uene Sebolu. Ehlile o tsoere hantle. Ehlile o tla kopana le bona ho teng. O tsoile tseleng hammoho le bona.

  33. @ Sebolu- hahaha, ba u tso’aretse ho ja chelete e nyane-ha u ne u nkile a ngata, u ne u ka phonyoha.Ha le fihla toronkong moo,ke batla u nyale Mphat’soane-u mo hora-hore hurray!. Kea tla

  34. 0ena HIGH qeba la monna e mong hale tseoe.le oena otla tsoaroa tsatsi le leng.feela bana ba tsoeroe hatle hobane ba iketse melingoana ea sepolesa eka sepolesa sena ke sabo bona.

  35. @Nonyana- Ke nnete nonyana E NGWE YA LCD -PS AGRIC shot himself today-ke chulo-chelete ena ya basotho eo e saleng ba fofa ka eona-jwale libe li batla masoba-halala Lcd!

  36. hardluck bafethu ke taba ea hore lee ngakeng feela ka chelete eno le bipe nyeoe ena.Haele lona ba bua ka Selomo o shoele motho enoa oa lona banna ba heso and ha bolaoa ke mapolesa empa ke libini mmoho le eena so tlohelang ho pota meleko ting

  37. Uena bareng o Manelo oa Leponesa/LCD,o tlile hantle o ntso rota,joale hao fihla mona oa nya.
    Selomo o bolailoe ke maponesa a kang oena a Ma LCD,joale potso ke hore na ba patesoe ke mang?

  38. E hlile u bua nnete, ha u ka utloa ba ahlame ba bolela kamoo the ground level police ba bolileng; u ka cho hore baokameli ba nnete ke bona bana. Athe bona ke lintja tse fetang. Top cops ba nahana hore ke melingoana, majority of them do not have that good leadership qualities. Ke li-boss. Hangata motho ea ratang bo-boss, ke moqhaka. These ppl ha ba na lerato la naha. That is why Lesotho le seng le fetohile fats’e la machaena. Sis!!!!

  39. Uena ba reng u Leroala ke bona e ka u ts’oeroe ke masepa joale ha u nyela u nyela mapolesa; tsamaea u ee toilet u lo nya poho. Lelinyane la Letoala!!!!

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