Plot to kill Matela


. . . as bid to recover MKM moneys resurfaces




MASERU – Embattled former Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA) boss, ‘Mamarame Matela, is in hiding fearing for her life. This follows a tip-off on plans to assassinate her since she was engaged to help money hundreds of Basotho investors lost in a Ponzi scheme several years ago conducted by MKM Group of Companies, which has since been placed under liquidation. Public Eye can report that the recently appointed Socialist Revolutionaries (SR) deputy leader fled the country after allegedly learning of a plan hatched by state security agencies to eliminate her because of her involvement in the ongoing MKM saga.

In a telephone interview from her South African sanctuary yesterday Matela confirmed to Public Eye that she has skipped the country after she was alerted that, on the instruction of some high-profile persons in the country, a hit had been ordered on her since she started working of the MKM issues. She said it has been two months since businessman and MKM proprietor, Lebuajoang Thebe-ea-khale, engaged her to work on the modalities of recovering the millions of Maloti lost to his company’s creditors in investments made with MKM.

This paper has been made to understand that it was during Matela’s commencement of work on the MKM problems that a plot to eliminate her surfaced since any such bid is considered a threat to some prominent people in government. Public Eye is in possession of the names of these alleged architects of Matela’s planned assassination. “In our early discussion on issues surrounding the MKM saga, a seemingly concerned Ntate Thebe-ea-khale recalled his murdered right hand man, Tšeliso Manyeli, who was killed in cold blood at his St Michael’s home; he advised that I tread carefully on this matter as my effort to help him was an invitation for trouble,” she recalled.

A 47-year-old Mosotho woman, Thakane Lerotholi, of Ha Teko in Maseru stands accused of Manyeli’s murder and is believed to be the mastermind behind the assassination of her business partner. She is accused with two others alleged to be the hit men. According to the police it is suspected that on June 5, 2020, after 10:00pm Manyeli had just arrived at his St Michael’s home when while waiting for the garage door to open, three men appeared and shot at him multiple times before fleeing from the scene.

He was rushed to a hospital at Ha Thetsane where he was confirmed dead from the gunshot wounds. The former LCA boss continued that until then she had not pondered the potential dangers of what she was getting herself into because all that “I want is to help the Basotho who have been robbed of their monies by people who ought to have given Ntate Thebe-ea-khale financial advice, but instead double crossed him. It is my passion to help Basotho get what is due to them.”

She added she only got scared when she received the tip-off that she should flee the country to escape from her would-be killers. She initially took the warning lightly until she saw some unidentified suspicious cars beginning to park next to her house – with some tailing her while on personal errands. This is when the gravity of danger around her dawned on her and she fled. Matela traces her crusade of fighting for the rights of marginalised Basotho to her time as a middle manager at the First National Bank (FNB) in Maseru, where she says she battled for Basotho investors against Hlazivill Trading Forex – which was accused of operating illegally without a certificate from the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) and violating the Financial Institution Act of 1999.

The company owed investors in excess of M163 million which, according to their accounts at the time they were supposed to pay back to the investors by the end of January in 2019. FNB came out to announce that the bank had cut ties with Hlazivill Trading Forex and terminated its relationship with the owner Tumelo David Hlazi – and that all funds held in his accounts with them had been released into his custody.

“The Central Bank of Lesotho, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Directorate for Corruption and Economic Affairs all failed to defend me when I fought for the investors to get their money back,” Matela said. She again came under the spotlight as head of the Lesotho Communication Authority (LCA) where she has faced allegations of corruption and/or irregular involvement in the tendering process and award of a tender to an international company, Global Voice Group.

She has since been fired from the Authority and lost in all attempts to challenge her sacking. Contacted for comment on these latest developments Thebe-ea-khale told Public Eye that he was not comfortable discussing Matela’s plight “especially because I am not aware that she has fled and is in hiding.” “She has also been helping me with some advice in relation to the recovery of MKM’s money following the company’s liquidation…but I can’t elaborate on the matter for security reasons.” He, however, confirmed that they had a working relationship though he was reluctant to detail the nature of the relationship.


“But, it can’t be far-fetched because I have also received death threats before,” he said.

MKM liquidators have for years faced accusations of fraudulent payments at the expense of the company’s creditors, and siphoning funds out of the company to the detriment of the same creditors.

The long-drawn-out MKM saga followed the business folding on accusations of conducting business illegally.

Thousands of Basotho who had invested in the company are yet to receive their dues, with Thebe-ea-khale and the late Manyeli arguing over the years that the money used to pay the companies engaged by the liquidators would have been better spent in paying MKM’s creditors.

Even the South African lawyer, Christiaan Serfontein Edeling, who advised the Central Bank of Lesotho (CBL) on the fate of MKM, had a chequered past that includes being struck from the roll of advocates in his country for serious dishonesty.

Edeling represented the Central Bank in the appeal to the Lesotho Court of Appeal against the final liquidation orders in respect of all MKM companies and entities.

Towards the end of 2012, the Central Bank asked Edeling and his South African colleague, Kemp J Kemp “to furnish an opinion” on MKM proposal to then Prime Minister Motsoahae Thabane asking for amnesty against the company’s liquidation.

The proposers said if the liquidation, as ordered by the courts was reconsidered, it was possible to pay “100 percent of the monies invested by Basotho in the schemes.”

“We hereby propose that MKM and its companies in liquidation be given an opportunity to regularise its operations and comply with the laws of Lesotho and the companies be given an opportunity to repay all monies due to Basotho,” reads the proposal.

In their opinion dated November 26, 2012, Edeling and Kemp advised the Central Bank not to support the proposal.

They said the proposal was a transparent attempt to manipulate government by using various techniques including, but not limited to, blaming others for the demise of MKM. The Central Bank also appointed Edeling to investigate a local company, Banca del Afrique Holdings’ alleged unlawful activities.

Banca del Afrique Holdings was consequently closed by the Central Bank in September 2015.

The CBL accused the company of conducting banking business without a licence.

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