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One year for skipping hotel bill

by Sunday Express
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Sello Morake
MASERU — A taste for the good life proved costly for a Lithoteng man who stayed at a local hotel but disappeared without settling the bill.
Motlatsi Machache, 31, was last week sentenced to a suspended one year jail term after he was convicted of fraud.
The Maseru magistrate’s court heard that Machache misrepresented himself at Khali Hotel that he was an employee of LORA Semonkong and was attending a two-day meeting at the hotel.
Crown counsel Marriam Seatile told the court Machache had promised hotel staff that he would settle the bill once he received his allowance from his employer.
He even handed his passport as surety, the court heard.
Seatile told the court that Machache stayed at the hotel on December 6 and 7 but fled the hotel on the 8th of December after he was confronted by hotel staff.
He left behind his unsettled hotel bill and passport.
But luck ran out for Machache after he was spotted just outside the National State Library on Monday by one of the hotel employees, Tšeliso Khali.
“Asked when he would come to collect his passport, the accused told Tšeliso Khali he would visit the hotel later and settle his bill.
“Khali then asked members of one private security company to help him with the arrest of Machache, before taking the accused to Maseru Central Charge Office,” Seatile said.
According to the crown counsel, the accused failed to prove to the court the existence of any company by the name of LORA Semonkong, despite maintaining he was an employee of the firm. 
In mitigation, Machache said he was an orphan and would pay the money he owed the hotel by the end of February. 
His sentence was suspended for a year provided he pays the M3 600 he owes the hotel.
Machache was released after promising to pay the money at the end of February
The case was before Magistrate Tšeliso Bale.

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