A FORMER Directorate on Dispute Prevention and Resolution (DDPR) employee has been spared jail after being found guilty of stealing a total of M189 000 from her employer.
Maseru Magistrate Teboho Thoso had been ruled that former DDPR senior accountant, ‘Masekake Thamae, should pay fines totaling M25 000 or do jail time of up to 10 years after being found guilty of seven counts of fraud and money laundering in connection with the theft of the money. The offences were committed between December 2016 and December 2019.
Thamae was however, spared jail and the sentences were suspended. This after Magistrate Thuso took into account the fact that when the matter was heard from 12 to 13 October 2021, Thamae had cooperated with the court and immediately pleaded guilty to all charges. Therefore, she had not wasted its time, Magistrate Thuso said. The court also found that Thamae was a first-time offender and she had paid back the stolen monies
“The accused was reminded about the charges against her and she pleaded guilty to all the charges against her,” Magistrate Thuso said.
“The crown accepted her plea of guilty and instead of calling witnesses to lead evidence, the summary of what would have been their testimonies including some of the affidavits of those crown witnesses were tendered in support of the crown’s case…
“A memorandum of understanding was signed between the accused and the DDPR and the accused wherein the accused made an undertaking that she will forfeit all her terminal benefits in order to reimburse her former employer all the monies that she admitted to have stolen. As a result of that memorandum, a total of sum of M187 617, 68 from the accused’s terminal benefits was paid into DDPR’s accountant as reimbursement. The said memorandum of understanding was also handed to court as evidence,” Magistrate Thuso said.
He said while Thamae had committed serious offences, the court had taken into account her cooperation and that she had lost her job hence the suspended sentence.