DCEO boss accused of sexual harassment
THE Director General of the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO), Advocate Mahlomola Manyokole, has been reported to the police for the alleged sexual harassment of Chinese businesswoman, Qingji Zhang.
Police spokesperson Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli confirmed that they were investigating after the matter was reported at the Maseru Central Police Charge Office.
“We have a report on a matter in which the Director General of the DCEO is accused of sexual harassment and the matter is being investigated,” Supt Mopeli said.
Adv Manyokole has denied the allegations.
Ms Zhang owns Decorat Art Furniture, a company which manufactures and distributes various types of furniture for office, home and school use.
She alleges that the harassment occurred a fortnight ago when Adv Manyokole and his DCEO team of investigators stormed her company offices and seized money and equipment as part of a corruption and money laundering probe against the company and its sister company, Lesotho Stone Enterprises (PTY) LTD.
She alleges that during the raid, Adv Manyokole touched her in an “inappropriate manner and made unwelcome comments” how beautiful she was.
“I don’t like the way he (Adv Manyokole) touched and spoke to me,” Ms Zhang said in an interview with the Sunday Express.
“His behaviour just added to the trauma and frustration I was already experiencing from the search at my company.”
Ms Zhang further alleged that Adv Manyokole suggested that she should consider dumping her “criminal” husband for a Mosotho man, presumably himself. Ms Zhang’s husband, Zhei Fengfu, owns Lesotho Stone whose immovable property has been seized and bank accounts frozen as part of the corruption probe.
“I did not harass her in any way and there is not a minute that I was ever alone with her where I could have done that,” Adv Manyokole said.
“True enough, she was very frustrated and uncooperative during the search. l tried to calm her by touching her on the shoulders and assured her that all was going to be fine. I told her that we meant no harm and we were only investigating her husband.
“I have since learnt that a case of sexual harassment has been opened against me and I have nothing against that because it is her right to do so. I will wait for the outcome of the investigations but I flatly deny all those allegations.
“What I can tell is that she is bitter and only trying to be malicious. The search was above board and conducted in the most professional manner. I would never do anything like that,” Adv Manyokole said.
Last Wednesday, Adv Manyokole accused Mr Fengfu, Ms Zhang and other Chinese nationals of “capturing” successive governments to protect themselves from being probed for various acts of corruption including money laundering and fraudulently obtaining residence and work permits.
He said “all the governments” that had come and gone “had in one way or another benefitted” from the likes of Mr Fengfu and Ms Zhang.
He said the couple had even written to Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro and Law and Justice Minister Professor Nqosa Mahao “to get them to interfere with our ongoing investigations into their alleged acts of corruption”.
His remarks came against the background of High Court’s 9 October 2020 decision to grant Lesotho Stone an interim order to resume its operations which the DCEO had stopped to facilitate investigations into the company’s alleged corruption and money laundering activities.