Manyokole tribunal hearing begins
SUSPENDED Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) Director General, Advocate Mahlomola Manyokole, is tomorrow expected to appear before a tribunal to determine fitness to remain in office.
The tribunal was set up last December by Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro to probe Adv Manyokole for alleged incompetence. It is headed by retired Judge Teboho Moiloa, who will be assisted by High Court Judge Polo Banyane and retired judge, Semapo Peete.
The tribunal secretary, Molefi Masoabi, yesterday told the Sunday Express that the proceedings would begin with Adv Manyokole being formally charged.
“The tribunal will go ahead with its proceedings on Monday 30 August 2021,” Advocate Masoabi said.
“The proceedings will be held at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre and they will be open to the media for transparency purposes. We had expected that Adv Manyokole would have filed his papers by now but he has not done so. We cannot say whether he would have filed them by 10am on Monday (tomorrow) when the proceedings are expected to begin,” Adv Masoabi said.
He said that the government had already filed its papers as directed by the tribunal chairperson, Justice Moiloa earlier this month.
Adv Manyokole was not reachable on his mobile phone for comment yesterday.
He was suspended on 7 January 2021 by Dr Majoro on allegations of incompetence. He was suspended on the advice of then Justice and Law Minister, Nqosa Mahao.
Earlier this month, Justice Moiloa set down 30 August 2021 as the date for the impeachment proceedings. This after the government’s lawyer, Monaheng Rasekoai, indicated that he and his team were under strict instructions to ensure that proceedings were concluded “soonest”. The date was set in Adv Manyokole’s absence.
Adv Manyokole refused to attend the tribunal’s 3 August 2021 session at Manthabiseng Convention Centre on the grounds that Adv Masoabi had unlawfully demanded that he attends.
He accused the government of failing to respond to his 31 May 2021 request for financial assistance to enable him to effectively participate in the tribunal.
He said that he had requested the recusal of Justice Moiloa as he was the subject of a DCEO corruption probe which he had supervised before his suspension.
Adv Manyokole also accused the tribunal of overlooking his personal circumstances when it set the 3 August date for his first appearance before the tribunal. He had said he was committed to resolving pressing family matters in South Africa from 2 to 16 August 2021.
He stated all this in a highly charged 28 July 2021 letter to Adv Masoabi.
Adv Manyokole also faces money laundering and corruption charges in the High Court. The date for the trial is yet to be set.
The case had initially been prosecuted by the DCEO in the Maseru Magistrates’ Court. It has since been taken over by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Hlalefang Motinyane, who resolved to move the trial to the High Court.
Adv Manyokole is charged alongside DCEO Chief Asset Recovery Litigation Officer Peter Matekane, former DCEO intern Relebohile Lesholu, Ikhetheleng Matabane and Matsobane Putsoa both of M Putsoa and Associates as well as Mr Matabane’s Mokorotlo Communications.