Maseru – Former Principal Secretary for the Ministry of Social Development Mrs. Selloane Qhobela has appeared before the Maseru Magistrate Court charged with fraud and theft involving over 60 000 Maloti.
According to the charge, the 53 year old Mrs. Qhobela of Botha-Bothe, who resides in Ladybrand, South Africa, is charged with contravening the provisions of Sections 68 (1) read with Section 109 of the Penal Code Act No. 6 of 2010.
She is alleged to have sometime between February and March 2017 deliberately made to the Ministry’s Financial Controller, a false representation or concealed from her a fact which in the circumstances she had a duty to reveal, that a trip she was to attend with two other Directors in Washington DC in the United States of America was not sponsored, whereas she knew well that it was fully sponsored.
Mrs. Qhobela is alternatively charged with contravening Section 57 (2) (a) read with Section 109 of the Penal Code Act No. 6 of 2010 in that she unlawfully stole 67, 068.73 Maloti belonging to or in lawful possession of the government of Lesotho and or the Ministry of Social Development with the intention of permanently depriving the government and the Ministry of that amount.
Advocate Motiea Teele KC appeared on her behalf and asked the court to release her on bail, citing reasons that she is a Lesotho citizen who has been cooperating with the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences DCEO since they launched their investigations and that she has a family and three children.
Representing the DCEO Advocate ‘Mathato Tsutsubi said the Directorate does not have an objection with accused’s application for bail, but it should be granted on condition that she pays a 1000 Maloti deposit and find a person who shall stand her surety to the sum of 50 000 Maloti.
However, the court through Resident Magistrate Polo Banyane granted Qhobela bail on conditions including payment of 1000 Maloti deposit and finding a Lesotho citizen who is a Maseru resident with valid identity documents to stand her surety to the sum of 10 000 Maloti or property of that value, report herself before court and at the DCEO offices every remand date.