Caswell Tlali MASERU — An office containing important government documents was burnt down on Friday night. The fire that gutted down the Public Service Registry at Qhobosheaneng Complex where Prime Minister Thomas Thabane’s office is housed happened two months after police spokesperson Masupha Masupha said there was a plot to torch the offices.
Government Secretary Motlatsi Ramafole told the Sunday Express yesterday that he is expecting the police to release their preliminary investigations’ report this morning.
Ramafole said the cause of fire is not yet known because police sealed off the area for investigations.
“I cannot even tell you to what extent the office was burnt,” Ramafole said.
“We were all not allowed to go near the place pending the police’s investigation,” he said.
“All I can say is that the Public Service Registry, which had important files in it, caught fire last night and we have not been able to assess the extent of the damage.” acting police spokesperson, Senior Inspector ’Mantolo Mothibeli, said she could not comment because she did not have details about the fire. The Maseru urban police commander Senior Superintendent Mofokeng Kolo, whose officers are handling the matter, could not be reached for comment.
The burning of the office comes barely two months after the police warned that there were rogue elements who had hatched a plan to set government offices ablaze. Although Masupha did not reveal the names of the people behind the planned arson attacks and their motive, this paper understands that it could have been hatched by people trying to destroy crucial evidence.
This, according to some top official in government, is because there is currently a forensic investigation in most government departments. About a month ago Ramafole confirmed that there were investigations going on but said he did not have full details.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson Thabo Thakalekoala also confirmed that there was an investigation but said the details were with finance principal secretary, Mosito Khethisa, who this paper has since then been unable to talk to.