Relief for Moleleki
Judge postpones minister’s corruption trial to 2017
THE High Court on Friday postponed to 14 March 2017 a corruption case against Police Minister Monyane Moleleki and four Mafeteng mining executives.
Mr Moleleki and Refela Holdings directors Mohapi Khofu, Tšepo Khofu, Kereke Moteletsane and Moeketsi Motšoane are charged with contravening the country’s mining regulations in 2012.
All the accused were not in court on Friday when Justice Tšeliso Monaphathi announced the latest date for the case, which has been postponed on several occasions since it started in 2013.
According to Justice Monaphathi, the new date had been agreed upon by both crown and defence counsel.
“This case is postponed to 14 to 17 March 2017. It will proceed again on the week starting from 28th March 2017. This is by arrangement of counsel on both sides,” Justice Monaphathi said on Friday.
Mr Moleleki, who is also deputy leader of the Democratic Congress (DC), faces three counts of allegedly contravening the Mines and Minerals Act, alongside the four Refela officials.
The Refela bosses allegedly failed to comply with the Act between 1-29 May 2012, when acquiring licences to prospect for diamonds in Ha Ramatšeliso and Mosaqane in the Qacha’s Nek district.
Mr Moleleki, who was Natural Resources minister at the time the offense was allegedly committed, stands accused of abusing his office to facilitate the said permits.
However, the licences were later cancelled by former Mines Minister Tlali Khasu on 31 October 2012 on suspicion they had been issued under questionable circumstances.
Mr Moleleki is represented by King’s Counsel (KC) Salemane Phafane in the case, while Advocate Zwelakhe Mda (KC) stands for the Refela bosses.
Meanwhile, this case has been dragging in the High Court since 2013 due to postponements because of Mr Moleleki’s illness. The case also had to be postponed in May this year after the appointment of a new prosecutor, Advocate Moletsane Lenono.
Again, early this year, the case had to be postponed because one of the accused, Mohapi Khofu, was also sick.
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