PSs suspected of petrol fraud freed on bail



MASERU – Two former Permanent Secretaries (PSs) and a former Maseru District Administrator (DA) implicated in a petrol fraud case involving M57,603.39 were this week released on M3,500 bail each by the Maseru Magistrate’s Court. The former Permanent Secretaries are Kamoho Matlama, 42, who served in Cabinet Administration, and Kabelo Lehora, 39, also a former PS in Cabinet Administration.

They, along with their co-accused, Mpane Nthunya, 52, the former DA of Maseru under the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftainship, are charged alongside Motlohi Mashapha, 45, a director of Mashapha Transport. Mashapha and his company are also defendants in the case.

Four of the five accused, except for Lehora, appeared before Magistrate Lerato Ntilane and Advocate Lebohang Motelle for the prosecution on Wednesday this week. Their case is scheduled for remand on May 21. The court also ordered each of the accused to surrender immovable property valued at M100,000.

Allegations against Nthunya and Matlama include abusing their positions by engaging vehicles from Mashapha Transport between 2020 and 2023 at the DA Office and Cabinet Administration Office in Maseru without following proper procurement procedures or obtaining authority from the Ministry of Finance.

Furthermore, Nthunya is accused of accepting bribes totalling M28,000 from Mashapha Transport, with transactions recorded on April 6, 2021. The company faces additional charges of money laundering amounting to M57,603.39.

It is alleged that Mashapha falsified mileage records for his vehicles used in contracted services, leading to a purported loss of M202,813.65 to the government. Additionally, Mashapha’s vehicles are said to have unlawfully fueled at the government fuel depot, causing further financial loss to the government.

Advocate Christopher Lephuthing, representing the accused, urged the court to grant bail, highlighting their cooperation with police during the investigation and their roles as family men and prominent figures in Lesotho. He argued that they posed no risk of obstructing the investigation and therefore should not be bound by surety.

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