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Lesotho turns to own coffers to fund AU games

SECHABA MOKHETHI The Lesotho government is to slash its M2.45-billion budget for an “ambitious and fancy” stadium development after scrapping guarantees to a little-known private South African financier, according to a well-placed government source. The source said the cash-strapped government would now provide all the funding and that in consultations with the sports ministry it had talked

Exclusive: Stadium construction guarantees cancelled

Lesotho ministry of finance cancels M2.45-billion funding deal and slams obscure South African financier SECHABA MOKHETHI The ministry of finance has cancelled government guarantees securing M2.45-billion in loans from a little-known South African company, Property 2000. The loans were to be issued for the construction of a stadium, an indoor sports arena and athletes village as Lesotho prepares to

Grissag behind Lesotho’s M2.4-billion loan guarantee rumpus

Moneylender caught up in SA’s state capture inquiry is behind controversial Lesotho loan      SECHABA MOKHETHI Property 2000, the South African developer earmarked to lend M2.45-billion to three Lesotho building contractors, is simply a middleman sourcing funds from other investors, including the obscure Grissag AG, a company previously linked to shady deals. The Lesotho ministry of finance has cancelled

Questions over contractors in M2.4-billion stadium deal

Were political supporters favoured in a deal that was pushed through despite red flags?   SECHABA MOKHETHI The government has dished out a M2.45-billion stadium deal to a group of contractors that includes two senior members of the Alliance of Democrats (AD), a long-standing contact of AD sports minister Mahali Phamotse, and a relative-cum-business-associate of two men convicted

Bid to overturn dubious M380-million ‘Chinese’ tender

BILLY NTAOTE A group of companies that lost the M380-million Mpilo Boulevard upgrade tender to a Chinese-led joint venture has filed an urgent court bid for the tender award to be overturned. And their lawyer has told the court that there was evidence of official interference in the tender process that “bordered on corruption”. The tender has been shrouded in

Hostile Kao villagers muddle through

as peace talks between Storm Mountain Diamonds and Kao mine neighbouring communities awaitMine and community speak of raging challenges and solutions in the pipeline BILLY NTAOTE MATIISETSO MOSALA Long protracted conflict between the Storm Mountain Diamonds operated mine and neighbouring communities in Kao villages seem to have its end drawing nearer amid pending

John embroiled in AD t-shirts brawl

SECHABA MOKHETHI A triangular battle between controversial Lesotho businessman Yan ‘John’ Xie, the Alliance of Democrats (AD) party and Durban clothing company over election campaign t-shirts worth more than M1-million has landed up in the Lesotho High Court. The MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism has heard allegations that Xie agreed to pay for 50 000 t-shirts used

Lesotho groans under hefty data price rises

Data giants-VCL and ETL-also accused of ducking regulatory levies and government loan repayments TUMISANG SERAME Skyrocketing data prices continue to hit the pockets of poor Basotho consumers. Yet an investigation by the MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism (the Centre ) has found that one of Lesotho’s mobile network companies has defaulted on regulatory fees, while the other

Government and corporates suck LEC dry

…allegedly owe nearly M200 million in bill arrears KEISO MOHLOBOLI and MANTSALI PHAKOANA The government owes the Lesotho Electricity Company (LEC) more than M50 million in unpaid electricity bills while private companies and some embassies owe the struggling state-owned enterprise an additional M140 million, MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism can reveal. The size of debt

Wool and Mohair farmers in limbo, despite victory

BILLY NTAOTE The Lesotho Parliament has agreed to scrap a controversial ban on the export of locally produced wool and mohair – but there is no end in sight to the woes of the country’s 40 000 mainly poor producers The decision by MPs followed a sustained campaign by farmers, their association and opposition parties, alleging

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