Maseru – Former Finance Minister Dr. ‘Mamphono Khaketla together with Mr. Thabo Napo both of Khubetsoana have briefly appeared before Maseru Magistrate Court charged with attempted bribery involving Four Million Maloti.
According to the charge which has four alternatives, the duo is alleged to have attempted to solicit a bribe of about Four Million Maloti from representatives of Lebelonyane Fleet Solutions Joint Venture JV in exchange for action or inaction on the part of Dr. Khaketla to use her position and influence as a state or public official, more particularly her position as the Minister of Finance to ensure or attempt to ensure that tender number 7/2015-2016 (a contract for the provision of fleet services to the government of Lesotho) is awarded to the JV during an incident that happened at Dr. Khaketla’s homestead on March 17, 2016.
The accused are alternatively charged with contravening the provisions of Section 21 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act, 1999 as amended read with Sections 2, 20, 31A and 34 of the Act in that they during the same time and venue, unlawfully and intentionally directly agreed or offered to permit Dr. Khaketla’s conduct as the Minister of Finance to be influenced by a gift or the promise or prospect of a benefit to be received by her and or Mr. Napo in ensuring that a contract for the provision of fleet services to the government of Lesotho (tender number 7/2015-2016) is awarded to the JV in exchange for money to the tune of Four Million Maloti.
They are on the third and fourth alternative counts charged with contravening the provisions of Section 26 (1) and Sections 21 (3) (b) of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act of 1999 in that they intentionally abused the functions or position of Dr. Khaketla’s office in attempting to solicit a bribe from the JV.
The court through Senior Resident Magistrate Phethise Motanyane granted the accused bail on conditions that they each pay a bail deposit of 5000 Maloti each, and report to the offices of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences on the last Friday of every month.
They were also ordered not to interfere with crown witnesses and stand their trial to finality, and they shall re-appear before court on September 28th this year for their next remand and a possible set-down of the trial.