Ultimate magazine theme for WordPress.

Pass the carats, comrade minister


Bogus Military Recruiter


There’s a sucker born every minute, the Americans are fond of saying.

By this they mean of course that there will always be simple-minded victims for con artists and scam operators to take advantage of.

Some cons are really harmless and can even be legal — in Los Angeles they now have “Oxygen Bars” where people go and pay to breathe in designer air. Having a higher oxygen fraction in the lungs serves no purpose, and may actually be detrimental to one’s health, in case you are wondering where the con part is.

But some scams are particularly evil and do nothing but dash the hopes and dreams of the victims involved.

A scam reported in the media in Lesotho last week certainly falls under the latter category.

Apparently, four women who were allegedly recruited by a bogus employment agent received the shock of their lives last week when they reported for duty at the police headquarters in Maseru.

The alleged agent — a woman — has been arrested and faces charges of swindling 32 people out of their hard-earned moolah by claiming she was recruiting trainees for the army and the police.

The victims paid nearly M3 000 each for the “service”.

What a cruel trick to play on desperate jobseekers.

The story has received a lot of publicity and hopefully this will save more victims from falling for such sleazy characters.

If she is found guilty, we hope the woman and her associates get fitting jail sentences for their disservice to humanity.

Dishonourable mention in the noisemaker of the week category goes to the 34-year-old serial rapist from Mohale’s Hoek, Bereng Moshoeshoe. The man was convicted of raping a 10-year-old minor in his home area in April.

Prior to that he was convicted of rape in 2002 and served five years in prison. He was also convicted last year of sodomising two boys.

This is the kind of story that horror fiction writers could not make up even if they wanted to. It is too ghastly to contemplate for any right-thinking human being.

As the judge in the case rightly observed, Moshoeshoe is a possible candidate for a mental asylum.

Either way, he has shown that he cannot co-exist  peacefully with other human being.



Letseng Diamonds


“I never worry about diets,” the actress Mae West once famously said. “The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.”

Amen. Enough said.

The good news this week was that the folks at Letseng Diamond Mine this year increased their output of said carats by two percent compared to the last financial year.

Only last month, an enormous 185 carat flawless diamond was unearthed at the mine. Prior to this, the mine had recovered a 196 carat diamond in August.

To get an idea of how much these babies are worth, one can take the smaller 17.34 carat pink diamond from the same mine which sold for a price of US$67 474 per carat, generating total revenue of M8 108 100.

This brings us to the relevance of Miss West’s words to Basotho.

You see the textiles sector has been hard-hit by the strong rand, global recession and the resultant lower consumer demand.

But in such depressed times, diamonds are one of the asset classes that investors run to for shelter.

Lesotho therefore needs to make the best of the prevailing favourable global prices for diamonds.

Lesotho also needs to maximise on the consistent rate at which it is turning out large, high quality gems to brand itself as a leader in the sector.

Botswana has done this so well and, dare we say, a diamond from that country is as desirable and reputable as a diamond from anywhere else you can name. Botswana is the world leader by value of diamonds produced yet not by quantity.

The name Lesotho should become synonymous with quality diamonds. Letseng’s focus on quality rather than quantity only will help the country achieve this status.

Meanwhile, the government needs to be proactive in ensuring the diamond wealth mentioned earlier benefits the entire nation.

We certainly hope dividends from mining activities in the country will put the government under less pressure to borrow funds to finance its activities.

Lesotho’s population is smaller than that of Johannesburg alone and one would think its budget would be proportionally easier to manage.

Comments are closed.