Exiled Matela back home


. . . ups bid to assist MKM investors


MASERU- Former Lesotho Communications Authority boss ’Mamarame Matela is back home from self-imposed exile. Among others, she has returned to help MKM Group of Companies’ owner, Lebuoajoang Thebe-ea-Khale, regain his lost properties and assist him to pay the multitudes of Basotho investors that his companies owe. Matela has been is in hiding fearing for her life following a tip-off about plans to assassinate her since engagement to help in the recovery of liquidated MKM Group of Companies’ money owed to scores of Basotho creditors.

The recently appointed Socialist Revolutionaries (SR) deputy leader fled the country after learning of an alleged plot by state security agencies to eliminate her because of her involvement in the ongoing MKM saga. But speaking in Maseru on Wednesday this week, Matela revealed that she has come back home, indicating that she returned after strong statements and visible military patrols around the capital city ordered by the Commander of Lesotho Defence Force, Lieutenant General Mojalefa Letsoela.

Following a worrying rise in criminal activities around the country Letsoela recently announced that soldiers will patrol the Maseru CBD and surrounding townships in a move to curb crime. Matela says now that she has come back home, she is more determined to support Thebe-ea-Khale throughout his journey to regain his properties and ensuring that Basotho that are owed by MKM are paid.

Matela, who is knowledgeable on the issues of business liquidation, said she will use her advocacy expertise to guide Thebe-ea-Khale. MKM was liquidated by the Central Bank of Lesotho for conducting an illegal money multiplication scheme. All MKM companies were liquidated and their estates were consolidated to be administered as a single estate since 2011. 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 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 said in interview with this paper immediately after she fled the country.

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 said before the tragedy she had not pondered on the potential dangers of what she was getting herself into because all that “I want is to help 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.

That is when the gravity of the danger she was in 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.

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