Govt accountant up for 620k fraud

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Bereng Mpaki

A MINISTRY of Finance accountant was yesterday dragged to the Maseru Magistrate’s Court to face charges of defrauding the government of M620 000 over the past six years.

Limakatso ‘Malikhetla (50) and with her co-accused, Liabiloe Mathe (41), were each granted M1000 bail by the court and ordered to appear before the same court on 24 December 2018 for the same case which was initiated by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO).

The state alleges that the two women duped the pension unit of the Ministry of Finance into paying pension allowances to one Molibeli Mathe and one Mokete Mathe as lawful pensioners through bank account numbers that do not belong to the two.

However, the actual holder of the two bank accounts is Ms Mathe.

“The accused persons are charged and guilty of contravening section 68 (1) of the Penal Code Act 2010 read with section 26 (1) of the Penal Code Act in that between the period of May 2012 and March 2018, the accused persons deliberately made to the Ministry of Finance under Pensions Unit a false representation that Molibeli Mathe and or Mokete Mathe were lawful pensioners with account numbers:

  1. Standard Lesotho Bank 0140552320901
  2. Nedbank Lesotho 022000231097

“Whereas at all material times the account numbers belonged to Ms Mathe, with the intention that the ministry should act upon the representation to its detriment in the amount of M620 641,18 and thereby caused the ministry to so act,” part of the court papers read.

Ms Mathe was also charged of another count for taking part in defrauding the government while being the custodian of the ministry’s accounts.

“Ms Malikhetla is charged and guilty of contravening section 21 (3) as amended of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act in that between the period of May 2012 and March 2018, being an accountant (Payroll Input Officer) in the Ministry of Finance under Pensions Unit and as such a public officer, intentionally abused the functions or position of here office in the performance or failure to perform an act in violation of Financial Regulations of 2011 or in  the discharge of her duties or function for the purpose of obtaining an undue advantage for Ms Mathe in the amount of M620 641, 18.”

Apart from the M1000 bail, Magistrate Litšitso Selialia ordered the duo to attend bail hearings and not to interfere with crown witnesses.

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