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Letete survives chop

Pascalinah Kabi

 MASERU — Tlholo Letete has retained his post as Premier League chairman despite losing his accounting job with a parastatal under questionable circumstances last month.

He was last month fired from his job as an accountant at the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority (LHDA) for allegedly breaching the company’s internal rules.

Letete has however appealed against his dismissal.

The Lesotho Football Association (Lefa) has been under pressure to relieve Letete of his football duties since he was suspended by the LHDA in May last year.

Besides leading the Premier League, he is also Lefa’s first vice president.

Those calling for Letete’s head said Lefa’s constitution did not allow anyone with a criminal record to run football in the country.

Article 27 (a) ii of the association’s constitution states that “every candidate for the national executive committee must . . . not have been previously found guilty of a criminal offence involving dishonesty and or mismanagement of funds”.

The officials argue that Letete’s continued stay within Lefa and the Premier League had the potential to “prejudice” local football and harm efforts to secure sponsorship and the image of the local game.

The critics have also called on Lefa to suspend Letete from office until his dispute with the LHDA has been finalised.

But in an interview with the Sunday Express on Friday, Lefa public relations officer Baba Malephane said Letete, who was re-elected as the Premier League boss last Tuesday, was here to stay.

He said Lefa had never discussed Letete’s case at the LHDA because they did not know the truth of the matter as of now.

“In short, I should say there has never been a time we have discussed this within the national executive committee,” Malephane said.

“We would never talk about this matter until we know the truth.”

He said Letete will continue to administer football in the country.

“We are still keeping him and he will continue to help run football in the country,” Malephane said.

In a press statement dated August 10, the LHDA did not shed more light on Letete’s dismissal.

“The case is still within LHDA’s standard internal processes of all disciplinary hearings and procedurally it is still deemed a private employer/employee relations matter,” the statement said.

Letete was fired for breaching the company’s internal rules after he allegedly did private accounting jobs for individuals.

The LHDA said this was a breach of trust and a violation of the company’s rules.

Letete is appealing against the dismissal.

His appeal against dismissal was expected to be heard on Thursday but it failed to take place after LHDA officials pleaded for more time to prepare for the case.

Meanwhile, Lehlohonolo Matlosa retained his post as public relations officer for the Premier League management committee during elections held at Bambatha Tsita on Tuesday.

Neo Mankimane, the former vice chairperson, was elected treasurer while Mosa Seoli was elected vice chairperson.

Lebohang Ramakhula was elected general secretary with Maswatsi Nkome being elected vice secretary.

Moses Ntlamelle was elected a committee member.

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