THE Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) has charged 10 people including two accountants in the Ministry of Finance with fraud which allegedly resulted in the ministry being prejudiced of M7, 7 million which was meant for pensions payouts.
The two accountants are Limakatso ‘Malikhetla and Mongali Mohapi.
Their co-accused are Mookho Tau of Qoaling, Maseru; ‘Malibuseng Marikimane of Motse-Mocha, Maseru; Malefetsane Jankuru of Ha Ts’osane Maseru; Alina Majara of Naleli, Maseru; ‘Matebello Morojele; Liabiloe Mathe and Boithatelo Morojele (all from Ha Abia, Maseru).
The duo recently appeared before Magistrate Thamae Thamae and they were not asked to plead. Magistrate Thamae postponed the case to allow one of the accused, Alina Majara to find another lawyer after her lawyer withdrew from the case. Their case will be heard in the Maseru Magistrates’ Court on 21 April and again from 4 to 6 May 2020.
The accused are charged with two counts of fraud.
According to the charge sheet, from 2012 to 2018 the accused swindled the Ministry of Finance of a total of M7 710 189, 94.
“The accused persons one, the other, or all of them sharing a common intention or purpose did deliberately make false representation or concealed facts from the ministry which they had duty to reveal with the intention that the latter should act on such representations to its detriment.
“They assigned to the already existing pension numbers in the pension system, the disguised or false names of the accused persons and their real or true account numbers and as if the bearers of these false names and were legitimate pensioners of the government of Lesotho. This resulted in the loss of amounts totaling M7 710 189, 94,” part of the charge sheet states.