Ex-LEC employee in soup for bribery



MASERU – A Lesotho Electricity Company ex-employee has been charged for unlawfully raising over M70 000 from desperate job seekers at the Ministry of Home Affairs. ‘Mapuleng Montši appeared before the Maseru Magistrate Court on Thursday this week facing bribery and money laundering charges. It is alleged that the former Credit’s Controls Clerk defrauded job seekers at the ministry approximately M70 155.

According to the charge sheet, Montši would directly and indirectly contact people seeking employment and promise them employment at Home Affairs. It is said that the accused also phoned employees at the ministry and informed them that they are liable to pay her M1 500 per person monthly as a ‘thank you’ for helping them secure employment. The money was paid through an electronic money platform- MPESA in the names of Motšoane Motebang. She is accused of “bribery for giving assistance in regard to contacts” and thereby contravening Section 26 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act No 5 of 1999.

The section states that “a public officer commits the offence of corruption if he directly or indirectly accepts or agrees or offers to accept for himself or for any other person any benefit as inducement or reward for or otherwise on account of his giving assistance or using influence in, or having given assistance or used influence in, promoting, administering, executing or procuring (including any amendment, suspension or cancellation) of any contract (including a subcontract) with a public body.” The prosecution alleges that Montši participated in the acts of corruption around 2017 and 2018 and thereby want her found guilty by the court.

“In that upon or about the dates unknown to the prosecutor but during the period of October 2017 to April 2018 and at the places whose exact location is unknown to the prosecutor but in Lesotho, the said accused did commit the offence of corruption by directly or indirectly accepting or agreeing to accept or offered to accept for herself or for any other person a benefit as an inducement or reward for or otherwise on account of her giving assistance…” reads the charge sheet in part It further states that the accused deliberately demanded and accepted bribe of M1 500 monthly from each individual she helped secure employment with the ministry.

By demanding the monies as she did, Montši is said to have contravened sections of the Money Laundering and Proceeds of Crime Act and is therefore guilty of money laundering. It is said that she contravened Section 25 (2) and 25 (4) of the Money Laundering Act. Montši was granted M2,000 bail and will appear before court again on March 9 to learn about the date of hearing. The case is prosecuted by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO).

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