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Two workers up for fraud

Nat Molomo

MASERU — Two employees of the Poverty Reduction Programme in the Prime Minister’s Office have appeared in court facing charges of defrauding the government of M88 000. Teboho Tsoako, 32, and Topollo Lephat’soe, 60, appeared in the Maseru Magistrate court on Monday. The alleged offence took place in the Prime Minister’s Office in March 2008, according to the police charge sheet.

Teboho is employed as a training officer and Lephat’soe, of Ha-Mat’saba under Chief Lerotholi Seeiso, is a director in the same department. The duo appeared before magistrate Molemo Monethi and were granted M1 000 bail each. They were each ordered to pay M20 000 as surety. They were also ordered not to interfere with state witnesses. According to the indictment sheet, an amount of M88 000 was fraudulently paid by the Prime Minister’s Office to Ntebo Brokers through the Poverty Reduction Programme.

It is alleged that a fake delivery note was used. The indictment indicates that Tsoako had presented quotations from fictitious companies, namely Hi-Tech Suppliers and PMP Suppliers. Lephat’soe, the indictment said, had unlawfully and intentionally signed a delivery note for the goods he knew were not delivered or would never be delivered by Ntebo Brokers. “The accused persons in a joint scheme or another or all of them as alleged did unlawfully and falsely and with intent to defraud, prepared, invited or received fraudulent quotations

which were presented to the Prime Minister’s Office and facilitated payment to Ntebo Brokers,” the indictment said.

The crown alleges that the accused signed a fraudulent delivery note and thereby prejudicing the Prime Minister’s Office, the Poverty Reduction Programme, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Lesotho.

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