MASERU — A businessman on trial for fraud after he allegedly connived with five First National Bank (FNB) workers to steal M216 000 from a company in which he was a shareholder has proposed a deal with the crown.
He wants to pay back the money to avoid jail.
Khotso Mapeshoane wants the crown to allow him to pay M108 000 to Lefa Makhele with whom he had a partnership in LK Filling Station.
Mapeshoane is accused of conniving with FNB employees Mookho Motloi, Mamello Mona, Lineo Masupha, Thuso Ramatlapeng and Lehlohonolo Tsikinyane to defraud LK Filling Station.
The crown’s case is that between 2006 and 2007 Mapeshoane allegedly spirited away LK Filling Station’s money through a series of fraudulent transactions.
With the help of the bank workers, he allegedly managed to get fake slips purporting he had deposited the company’s money into an account with FNB when he had actually pocketed it.
When the fraudulent transactions were eventually discovered, Mapeshoane had allegedly helped himself to M216 000 belonging to the company.
Mapeshoane has proposed to pay back M108 000 so that the crown can drop the charges.
The reason he wants to pay half of the money he stole is because he defrauded a company in which he has equal shareholding with his partner.
His partner was entitled to M108 000.
Mapeshoane’s legal team made the proposal on August 4.
The deal also seeks to ensure that the five FNB employees charged together with Mapeshoane avoid going to jail.
According to the proposal, Mapeshoane will make monthly payments of M10 000 into Makhele’s account until he has repaid what he owes.
He also undertakes to make deposits on the 30th of every month.
But there is a catch.
The proposal says if Mapeshoane defaults on any of the monthly instalments his property will be attached and the crown will revive the charges.
“That in the event of the Accused 1 (Mapeshoane) failing to pay any of the instalments abovementioned this order be executable on his property,” the proposal says.
Also the charges against him and the FNB workers will only be withdrawn when the money has been fully paid.
The proposal is yet to be endorsed by the courts although the crown and defence are said to have agreed in principle.
Discussions between the defence and the crown have been going on for the past few months.