MASERU — The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Communications, Nokhululeko Zaly, who was suspended last week, will soon be hauled before a disciplinary hearing for alleged corruption.
Zaly’s letter of suspension from government secretary Motlatsi Ramafole had indicated that she was being accused of misconduct but did not give details.
Speculation at that time was rife that she had been pushed out after she clashed with Communications minister Tseliso Mokhosi over the Digital Migration Project of the Lesotho Television and other staff deployments in the ministry.
It emerged this week that apart from being accused of defying the minister Zaly is also facing corruption charges.
The charge is centred on a M39 000 cheque that she is accused of having processed for ministry employee, Makhetha Motsoari. It is alleged that neither the school nor the course exist.
Motsoari was one of the four ministry officials who were supposed to go for a feature writing course in Johannesburg.
It is alleged that the trip was approved by Mokhosi.
Motsoari then submitted his application for a per diem which was approved by Zaly as the chief accounting officer of the ministry.
But a few days before he was due to leave for Johannesburg Motsoari was told that he could not get his cheque.
Zaly refused to comment last night.
It is however understood some time ago Zaly was asked about the cheque by the parliament’s Public Account Committee.
Zaly is said to have told the committee that she was aware of the cheque but she had not collected it.
Instead she told a parliamentary committee that the cheque was collected from the accounts department by the minister.
She also told the committee that the cheque could not be cancelled because the minister still had it.
A senior official in the ministry yesterday alleged that the minister had produced the cheque at political rallies in Leribe and Quthing.
Mokhosi has confirmed that Zaly is facing corruption charges after she allegedly tried to defraud the government of M39 000 by taking Motsoari to a course at a non-existent school in South Africa.
“She should be thankful that I stopped her from committing fraud instead of fighting against me,” Mokhosi said.
“I stopped that payment because I wanted to help them, Zaly and that ministry’s employee, to avoid committing crime,” he said.
“It is my responsibility to prevent such things from happening, otherwise I will have to answer difficult questions of why I did nothing when I realised that people under my leadership are doing wrong things.”
Mokhosi said the South African High Commission had confirmed that the school Zaly was taking Motsoari to does not exist.
He said a person of Zaly’s “intelligence should have realised that the school does not exist.”
Mokhosi however vehemently denied that he took the cheque to political rallies where he showed it to the people.
One of the rallies, according to sources, was in Mokhotlong.
“A rally is a public event and if I talked about this cheque or displayed it at a rally surely it would have captured the media’s attention,” he said.
“Papers like yours would have reported about it at that time. The fact that you have not heard about it over a radio or read about it in newspapers shows that whoever is saying it is lying.”
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