LESOTHO Correctional Service (LCS) Commissioner Thabang Mothepu has once again stirred controversy after he made fresh promotions at the institution this week.
Commissioner Mothepu is said to have promoted another three LCS officers on Monday despite the ongoing inquest by the Ombudsman in connection with the criteria he used to make similar promotions three months ago in May this year.
Sources within the LCS this week told the Lesotho Times that Commissioner Mothepu on Monday promoted three officers.
Although Commissioner Mothepu told this publication that he had only made “acting appointments”, the sources insisted that he promoted Superintendent Theko Mabaso (employment number 45375) to the rank of senior superintendent.
Assistant Superintendent Relebohile Mabona (employment number 53341) was reportedly promoted to the rank of Superintendent and Chief Officer Moeletsi Mosoeu (employment number 56854) was promoted to the rank of assistant superintendent.
Commissioner Mothepu is in the eye of the storm after making 50 promotions in the LCS in May this year as some LCS officers have approached the office of the ombudsman, Adv Leshele Thoahlane KC, to complain that they were overlooked for promotions on political grounds.
Adv Thoahlane has also accused Commissioner Mothepu of frustrating his (Adv Thoahlane) efforts to bring the LCS promotions saga to finality by his (Commissioner Mothepu’s) repeated failure to appear before the ombudsman to explain how he effected the promotions.
This week, an LCS officer, Sergeant Bokang Ramotena, accused Commissioner Mothepu of overlooking her for a promotion even though she had the requisite qualifications.
Sgt Ramotena also accused the principal secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Service, Ms Lebohang Mochaba of conniving with Commissioner Mothepu to promote Ms Mochaba’s “unqualified and inexperienced husband” at her (Sgt Ramotena’s) expense.
“I have been in the service way before her (Ms Mochaba’s) husband and I am better qualified but they are teaming up against me to sideline me.
“I need no favours to be promoted. I am qualified and experienced and I have served longer than her husband on who she has squandered our taxes, sending him to training programmes at our expense,” Sgt Ramotena said.
Sgt Ramotena accused Ms Mochaba of blocking her promotion on the spurious grounds that she had rejected Commissioner Mothepu’s love proposals.
“Ms Mochaba told me that the reason why I was not getting promoted is because I had rejected Mothepu’s love proposal and therefore I would never get promoted,” Sgt Ramotena said.
However, Commissioner Mothepu has denied promoting the trio of Mabaso, Mabona and Mosoeu.
“I have not promoted anyone and those are just acting appointments,” Commissioner Mothepu said this week.
On the issue of making sexual advances to Sgt Ramotena Commissioner Mothepu said, “I have never proposed to Sergeant Ramotena and I am not that petty”.
“That is not true at all and I am a very respectful man who equally respects himself. It is therefore quite unfortunate that she (Sgt Ramotena) is making such allegations.
“She (Sgt Ramotena) has had a problem with all the former LCS commissioners and it only says that the problem lies with her. I have no personal vendetta against her. There is an officer who works at the office of the ombudsman who is misdirecting her and it’s sad because, the ombudsman can’t tell me what to do here at the LCS,” Commissioner Mothepu said.
For her part, Ms Mochaba said she had no say in the promotions at the LCS.
“I do not have a say in the LCS promotions or on how the LCS should run its affairs. I got married to my husband long after he was already a correctional officer.
“I do not take (LCS) people to training workshops and I am not at all going to meddle with the LCS Commissioner’s work- not now or ever.
“I am not even going to comment on the issue of Commissioner Mothepu proposing to Sergeant Ramotena because I think that is an issue meant to remain between two people. It is surprising that she is raising this issue now when she has actually failed to raise it with the Ombudsman when she lodged her complaint,” Ms Mochaba said.