Home NewsLocal News Thahane, Khethisa back in court

Thahane, Khethisa back in court

by Lesotho Times

Tefo Tefo

The Maseru Magistrate’s Court is today expected to set a trial date for former Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs Minister Timothy Thahane and suspended Finance Ministry Principal Secretary Mosito Khethisa, who are facing fraud and bribery charges.

The two men are charged alongside Civa Innovations Management (Proprietary) Limited Director Mokhethi Moshoeshoe, for allegedly defrauding government of M19 million.
The charges revolve around a contract awarded to Civa on 29 April 2010 by government, for a wool and mohair project in contravention of the country’s procurement regulations.

Mr Khethisa — who was suspended in April this year after being charged in a different fraud case — and Moshoeshoe, first appeared in the Magistrate’s Court in October 2013. Dr Thahane later joined the case as he was not present when trial got underway last October.
According to the charge sheet, Thahane and his co-accused are facing two counts — one of fraud and the other bribery.

The fraud charge reads: “On or about the 29th April 2010 or thereafter in the district of Maseru, the accused, sharing a common purpose, unlawfully, deliberately and with the intent to defraud, represented to the government of Lesotho or the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning that an agreement entered into between the Ministry and Accused Three (Civa Innovations Management {Proprietary} Limited) on 29 April 2010 in respect of Wool & Mohair Product Development, complied with the Public Procurement Regulations of 2007.

This was done with the intention that the ministry should act upon the said misrepresentation to its prejudice and to the prejudice of the government of Lesotho, by paying to the accused three sums totaling M8 379 070.50; M9 772 000.00 and M915 596.85 and did thus commit the crime of fraud.”

On bribery, the charge sheet reads: “On a date unknown to the Crown but before 29 April 2010, Accused Three (the company) and Four (company director Moshoeshoe) corruptly offered a consideration to Accused One (Thahane) and Two (Khethisa), who corruptly agreed to accept such consideration in return for action in their official capacities as public officials — Accused One in his capacity as Minister of Finance and Development Planning and Accused Two as Principal Secretary.
“Such action by Accused One and Two was facilitating a contract between the government of the Kingdom of Lesotho, on the one hand, and Accused Three on the other, on 29 April 2010, in respect of Wool and

Mohair Product Development. Such consideration was in the form of a share in the proceeds of funds received by Accused Three in respect of such contract.”
When the fraud was allegedly committed, Dr Thahane was the Minister of Finance during the Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) government.

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