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Thahane, co-accused want graft case struck off register

Tefo Tefo

Former Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs Minister, Timothy Thahane
Former Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs Minister, Timothy Thahane

Former Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs Minister, Timothy Thahane and suspended Finance Ministry Principal Secretary, Mosito Khethisa, want their corruption case struck off the court’s roll.
Dr Thahane and Mr Khethisa, who are charged alongside the director of Civa Innovations (Proprietary) Limited, Mokhethi Moshoeshoe, want the case removed from the register on grounds the crown does not appear ready to proceed with the trial.

But the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Thursday postponed the case to July 2 for both prosecution and defence lawyers to argue whether the case should be struck off the roll or not.
Mr Khethisa — who was suspended in April this year after being charged in a different fraud case — and Moshoeshoe, first appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court in October 2013, with Dr Thahane later joining the trial.
According to the charge sheet, the three men face two counts — one of fraud and the other bribery.

The fraud charge reads: “On or about the 29th April 2010 or thereafter in the district of Maseru, the accused, sharing a common purpose, unlawfully, deliberately and with the intent to defraud, represented to the government of Lesotho or the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning that an agreement entered into between the Ministry and Accused Three (Civa Innovations Management (Proprietary) Limited) on April 29, 2010 in respect of Wool & Mohair Product Development, complied with the Public Procurement Regulations of 2007.

This was done with the intention that the ministry should act upon the said misrepresentation to its prejudice and to the prejudice of the government of Lesotho, by paying to Accused Three, sums totaling M8 379 070.50; M9 772 000.00 and M915 596.85 and did thus commit the crime of fraud.”

On bribery, the charge sheet reads: “On a date unknown to the Crown but before April 29, 2010, Accused Three (the company) and Four (company director Moshoeshoe) corruptly offered a consideration to Accused One (Thahane) and Two (Khethisa), who corruptly agreed to accept such consideration in return for action in their official capacities as public officials — Accused One in his capacity as Minister

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