Stolen clothes land factory workers in court

MASERU — Ten LGI Sales factory workers yesterday appeared in the magistrates’ court to answer theft charges brought against them by their employer.

The workers, seven men and three women, allegedly stole clothes from the LGI Sales factory in May this year.

The prosecution alleges that they stole clothes worth M372 000 from the LGI factory which is based in the Maseru industrial area.

Yesterday the accused started presenting their defence with one of them, Paballo Soola, denying having stolen from the firm.

“I did not steal anything from the firm. Even if I had the intention to steal I could not have managed because of the tight security at the firm,” Soola said.

She told the court that she was not aware that something had been stolen from the factory until May 2 when the police together with the owner of the firm, Mairoon Adams, arrived at her home at night.

She said there was also a group of Indians who accompanied the police and the factory owner.

“Upon arrival they searched my house and took all my clothes away. They said they were looking for the stolen clothes from the firm.

“I had clothes which I bought from other shops as well as those that I bought from the firm,” Soola said.

 “The security guards conduct a search on each and every worker. There is no way one can get out of the firm with any stolen items,” she said.

One of the accused, Thapelo Khoeli, told the court that he resigned from his job after he was asked by the prosecutor, Boloka Tshabalala, to testify against his co-workers.

He said he refused.

“I resigned from work after the prosecutor Ntate Tshabalala asked me to testify against other accused persons.

“I told him that I could not implicate anybody in the alleged theft when I did not see anybody stealing.

“I then realised that I would not work comfortably at the firm. I had to quit the job,” Khoeli said.

He told the court that he did not steal from the firm because the security guards conducted body searches on every worker.

“They would even want to see our underwear to confirm that we have not stolen from the factory.

However prosecutor Tshabalala said Khoeli resigned from work after he stole from the firm.

“I put it to you that you resigned from work because you knew that you had stolen from the firm,” Tshabalala said.

But Khoeli forcefully said: “No I resigned because you forced me to testify against others.”

The case continues.

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