. . . party to challenge DDPR’s decision
THE Directorate of Disputes Prevention and Resolution (DDPR) has ordered the Machesetsa Mofomobe-led Basotho National Party (BNP) to pay M234 861 compensation to its suspended secretary general, Tšepo Lethobane.
The money is for his salary, unpaid leave days, transport and airtime allowances during his suspension from October 2021 to April 2022. Mr Lethobane is still serving his suspension for allegedly embezzling party funds. The suspension is until next year.
Yesterday, Mr Mofomobe told this publication that the party would challenge the default judgment which was issued on 7 June 2022.
He said his party had not been aware that there was a case against it hence it failed to defend itself when the matter was heard. The BNP only became aware of the matter when the DDPR ruling was circled on social media, he said.
However, the DDPR insists that it handed down the judgement after the BNP failed to challenge Lethobane’s case or attend proceedings despite being formally informed of the dates and time to appear before it.
When this was put to him, Mr Mofomobe blamed the party’s failure to attend the hearings on the negligence of the office of acting secretary general (SG), Moeketsi Hanyane.
He said Mr Hanyane had failed to inform the party’s national executive committee (NEC) of the case instigated by Mr Lethobane.
“We are certainly going to appeal the DDPR judgement,” Mr Mofomobe said.
“We were not aware of the proceedings taking place as we were never informed about them. We learnt of the outcome together with everybody else, on social media. The entire NEC was surprised. We lost the case by default due to negligence on the part of the office of the BNP secretary general,” Mr Mofomobe added.
He said he had since instructed the party’s lawyers to challenge the DDPR’s decision.
“We cannot allow Lethobane to get away with a default judgment. It is either acting SG Hanyane doesn’t care about this issue or is plain negligent,” Mr Mofomobe said.
On his part, Mr Lethobane refused to discuss his DPPR victory. He also said he was not aware of his party’s plans to challenge the award.
“I wish to refrain from commenting on the DDPR outcome. I am not aware of the BNP’s plans to challenge my DDPR victory, that is news to me,” he said yesterday.
Mr Mofomobe is on record saying he suspended Mr Lethobane on the advice of the NEC. This after a lengthy disciplinary hearing into allegations that he stole an undisclosed sum of money from the party.
Mr Mofomobe said they had reported Mr Lethobane to the police for theft of party funds and they were still waiting for a response.