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LEC top official in M12-million corruption scandal

BILLY NTAOTE

Lefa Motlalane, a top official of Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) is accused of swindling his employer M12-million using his private company.

Motlalane aged 48, is part of the LEC executive management. He is accused of defrauding the LEC M12 million by contracting a private company, Tough Services Pty LTD.

He was a shareholder and director of Tough Services, a local company which specialises with electrification services.

According to companies’ register, Motlalane was appointed the company’s director on October 11, 2006 and terminated on August 28, 2016.

On the other hand, Motlalane is listed on LEC’s website as its general manger strategic planning and projects.

His duties include business development, corporate planning, compliance with laws and regulations, tariff design, statistics and project and planning.

The LEC is Lesotho’s only state-owned energy company responsible for the distribution, connection and management electricity power grids in the country.

Motlalane appeared before Maseru Magistrate Court’s Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Murenzi on charges of corruption.

He has since been released on M5000.00 bail and paid a surety of M500,000.00.

According to the charge sheet, Motlalane is charged with the offense of corruption, in that he contravened a “conflict of interest section” of the anti-corruption law.

Motlalane’s charge sheet reads that he contravened section 28 of the prevention of corruption and economic offences as amended by section 14 (1) of the prevention of corruption and economic offences, amendment Act No. 8 of 2006.

Section 14 of the amendment of the prevention of corruption and economic offences Act provides that: “A member or an employee of a public or private body commits the offence of corruption if he or she or an immediate member of his or her family has a direct or indirect interest in a company or undertaking with which the body proposes to deal, or he or she has  a personal interest in a decision which that body has to make and he or she, knowingly, fails to disclose the nature of the interest, and votes or participates in the proceedings of the body relating to the dealing or decision”.

The charge sheet further reads that Motlalane, “upon or about the dates between January 2006 and April 2020” while an employee of the electricity company “…acting within scope of his employment or duty…[also as] shareholder and director of Tough Services Pty LTD, unlawfully and corruptly awarded tenders amounting to M12, 671, 625.12 to tough services Pty LTD”.

Motlalane is said to have knowingly failed to disclose the nature of his interest in the affairs of Tough Services and committed an offense of corruption.

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