Education officer faces fraud charge

MAFETENG — A senior education officer for Mafeteng district, Thabang Lesenya, has appeared in court to answer charges of fraud.

The charge sheet indicates that Lesenya falsely misrepresented to three individuals that he would offer them a school catering job if they paid him some money.

Lesenya then demanded M9 500, M6 000 and M1 500 bribes from the three who are all residents of Mafeteng, the charge sheet says.

Lesenya is charged with theft by false pretences because of the misrepresentations he made.

“The accused is charged with theft by false pretences,” the charge sheet said.

Lesenya is alleged to have fraudulently received the total M17 000 in bribes between October and November last year.

He first appeared in the Mafeteng Magistrates’ Court on April 20. Another education officer in the Mafeteng office, ‘Manapo Mabea, is also facing a similar charge.

Mabea is accused of swindling a Mafeteng resident of money amounting to M5 300. Mabea allegedly promised to offer the person a school catering job if the resident paid her M5 300.

The victim, who was not named, allegedly paid the money but Mabea failed to fulfill her promise to give her the job.

The principal of St Gerard primary School in Mafeteng, Ts’eliso Thejane, is also facing a similar charge.

Thejane is also alleged to have promised to offer a catering job to another Mafeteng resident to work at his school.

Lesenya, Mabea and Thejane are all out on free bail.

The three are due to appear in court again on May 20 for set down of dates for their cases.

Sources within the education department said there was likelihood that other education officers could be hauled before the court to answer charges of fraud.

They said police investigations were continuing within the Mafeteng education office.

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