The High Court has postponed to 27 November a corruption case against Police Minister Monyane Moleleki
and four Mafeteng mining executives.
Mr Moleleki and Refela Holdings directors Mohapi Khofu, Tšepo Khofu, Kereke Moteletsane and Moeketsi Motšoane are charged with contravening the country’s mining regulations in 2012.
The accused quintet was not in court on Monday when Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi postponed the case.
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) King’s Counsel (KC) Leaba Thetsane replaced Advocate Siphosihle Mdhluli with Advocate Abraham Lenono in May this year to prosecute the case.
After Advocate Mdhluli had told him he was officially withdrawing from the case on 13 May, Justice Monaphathi postponed the case to Monday this week.
However, the judge on Monday postponed the case once again following discussions with crown and defence counsel in his chambers.
One of the defence lawyers, Salemane Phafane (KC) confirmed the postponement to the Lesotho Times immediately after emerging from the judge’s chambers.
“Since cases are no longer postponed sine die, this one has been moved to 27 November for mention. However, it should be clear that 27 November is not the trial date; it is only for mention.
“You will realise that among other issues, another prosecutor has been engaged for the case which is one of the reasons for the postponement,” Advocate Phafane (KC) said.
Meanwhile, this case has been dragging in the High Court since 2013 due to postponements because of Mr Moleleki’s illness.
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However, early this year, the case was also postponed because one of the accused, Mohapi Khofu, was also sick.
Mr Moleleki, who is also deputy leader of the Democratic Congress (DC), faces three counts of allegedly contravening the Mines and Minerals Act, alongside the four Refela executives.
The Refela bosses allegedly failed to comply with the Mines and Minerals Act between 1-29 May 2012, when acquiring licences to prospect for diamonds in Ha Ramatšeliso and Mosaqane in the Qacha’s Nek district.
Mr Moleleki, who was Natural Resources minister at the time the offense was allegedly committed, stands accused of abusing his office to facilitate the issuance of the said permits.