BNP SG Lethobane suspended on embezzlement charges

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’Marafaele Mohloboli

BASOTHO National Party (BNP) secretary general, Tšepo Lethobane, has been suspended on allegations of embezzling party funds.

BNP spokesperson ‘Masetota Leshota confirmed Mr Lethobane’s suspension. Ms Leshota said he was suspected of misappropriating party funds which were paid by tenants through mobile money platforms.

“Mr Lethobane was suspended on Monday pending investigations into the alleged misuse of party funds which were paid to him by tenants through mobile money platforms,” Ms Leshota said in an interview with the Lesotho Times this week.

“Mr Lethobane will not be in office until the matter has been finalised.”

Ms Leshota said Mr Lethobane’s suspension was done on the recommendation of the party’s national executive committee (NEC) which had received reports from its sub-committee indicating that there were party funds that could not be accounted for. She said preliminary investigations had indicated that at least M46 000 could not be accounted for.

Mr Lethobane also confirmed his suspension, saying he had received the suspension letter on Monday evening.

“I have received my suspension letter on Monday evening. I will wait for my fate as per the outcome of the investigations.

“I believe in the rule of law and due processes must be followed at all times. If I am not happy with the outcome, I will follow internal processes to appeal the decision instead of dragging the party to the courts of law,” Mr Lethobane said.

This is not the first time the teacher-turned-politician has been accused of embezzlement of party funds.

Two months ago, the party’s women and youth leagues accused him of going on a self-enrichment drive by misusing party funds while their activities suffered from lack of funding.

Both leagues vowed to push Lethobane out of the party as they felt he was not only mismanaging party funds but also a divisive figure.

Some of the losing contestants in last month’s violent BNP leadership elections accused him of electoral fraud to ensure Mr Mofomobe’s victory. The two are said to be close friends. Mr Lethobane has vehemently denied rigging the party polls to ensure Mr Mofomobe’s victory.

Mr Mofomobe powered to victory, polling 298 votes to beat his nearest challenger Professor Lehlohonolo Mosotho’s 62 votes. Mr Lesojane Leuta came in a distant third with just six votes.

Mr Mofomobe, who is also deputy foreign Affairs and International Relations minister, replaced former BNP leader, Thesele ‘Maseribane, whose second and final tenure ended in March this year.

 

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