Maseru – Forty two year old Tsotang Ponoane of Mokhotlong has appeared before the Maseru Magistrate Court charged with attempted bribery and corruption.
According to the charges drawn by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences DCEO, Ponoane who works as a Clerk at Maqhaka Local Court in Berea, is alleged to have attempted to solicit a bribe of 1500 Maloti from Pulane Mphuthing in exchange for action or inaction on his part to use his position as the court’s Clerk to ensure that case number CR/94/17 against ‘Mampeli Mphuthing-Motsepe does not proceed during an incident that happened at Total Garage in Khubetsoana on September 25, 2017.
Ponoane is alternatively charged with contravening the provisions of Section 21 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act of 1999 as amended, whereby he is alleged to have directly agreed or offered to permit his conduct as a public officer to be influenced by a gift, promise or prospect of any benefit and received 1500 Maloti from Mphuthing as a reward for ensuring that the case against Mphuthing-Motsepe does not proceed.
The second alternative charge alleges that Ponoane intentionally abused the functions or position of his office in the discharge of his functions and solicited money from Mphuthing for ensuring that the case does not proceed.
Ponoane‘s lawyer Advocate Christopher Lephuthing asked for bail on his client’s behalf which the court granted on condition that he pays a deposit of 1000 Maloti and attend demands on set dates, and Ponoane was also ordered not to interfere with crown witnesses and police investigations.