Former diplomat charged with theft

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Tefo Tefo

FORMER Lesotho’s Consul General in Durban, Lerato Tšosane was on Friday charged with two counts of theft for allegedly stealing M6000 about four years ago.

Ms Tšosane (51) appeared before the Magistrate’s Court on Friday where two counts of fraud were formerly preferred on her.

According to the state papers, the crime was committed about four years ago while she was still serving as the Consul General in Durban, South Africa.

The funds were allegedly stolen in two transactions, the first being of M4000 and the other of M2000.

Part of the charge sheet relating to the first count reads: “…she stole money in the sum of M4000 through cheque number 102864 dated 29th January 2014, the property belonging to the government of Lesotho…with the intention of permanently depriving the owner or possessor of the property”.

“And thus, the said accused did commit the crime of theft.”

The second count relates to the amount of M2000 she allegedly stole in February 2014.

According to the charge sheet Ms Tšosane is accused of violating provisions of the Penal Code Act number 6 of 2010.

She was released on bail after being told to pay M1000 as bail deposit.

She was also told not to interfere with state witnesses and to stand trial to finality.

She is expected to appear again before the courts on 13 August 2018 for preparation of trial.

The charges follow a recent Public Accounts Committee enquiry where Ministry of Foreign Affairs staff were accused of a litany of financial irregularities.

Among the accusations by the PAC were that Ms Tšosane allegedly embezzled M2, 9 million during the 2013/14 financial year.

She however, defended herself and said at the time that she made the transactions, the Consul General office did not have a finance officer hence she used her personal account for convenience.

Following the PAC hearing, the Directorate on Corruption and Economic offences then launched an investigation into the alleged abuse of government funds.

 

 

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