MASERU – A 27-year-old Thaba-Bosiu woman who faked her results to get a government scholarship to study in South Africa was on Wednesday sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Maseru magistrate’s court.
Nahano Molelekoa’s tricks started in 2008 when she faked her high school results to get the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) to fund her Economic and Management Science degree at the University of Free State in South Africa.
Then when she failed her first year she altered the results and claimed more funds from the NMDS under the pretext that she was proceeding to second year. She got the money but did not go back to the university.
Instead she spent the money.
By the time she was caught this year Molelekoa had defrauded the NMDS of M124 000.
Tšepiso Cheche, an assistant public relations officer in the finance ministry, said Molelekoa was caught when she tried to renew her scholarship contract for 2011/12.
“Molelekoa was caught when she was coming to renew her 2011/2012 scholarship contract as she had forged her results slip,” Cheche said.
“She had failed to pass the economic and management science course that she was doing at UFS but forged results so that her contract could be renewed,” she said.
Cheche said Molelekoa had forged the results “by smartly cutting the university stamp and pasting it on her slip”.
An official at NMDS who was assisting her to renew her contract realised that the stamp on her results slip looked weird.
Investigations later revealed that she did not qualify for the NMDS scholarship to study at UFS because she had failed her Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC).
The magistrate sentenced her to 10 years in prison or a fine of M20 000.
Molelekoa will spend the next 10 years in prison after she failed to raise her fine.
The NMDS director Letholetseng Ntsike said this is the second time that a student had been nabbed for defrauding the NMDS this year.
She said recently a National University of Lesotho student, Relebohile Pitso, defrauded the NMDS over a period of three years before she was eventually caught.
Pitso failed her first-year law studies but kept on getting her allowances from the NMDS.
“For the past three years her parents thought their child was still at university because she was staying away from her parents pretending to be at school,” Ntsike said.