Maseru, Lesotho—The Directorate of Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) says they are not yet through with Dr Timothy Thahane, former minister of finance and natural resources in the previous government of Lesotho.
Adv Sefako Seema, head of the legal department of the DCEO says they are busy working on the appeal papers to be filed soon, against the High Court ruling that favoured Thahane in a matter where he had corruption charges against him, in relation to the collapsed agricultural scheme some seven years ago.
Justice Tseliso Monaphathi acquitted Thahane at the end of the crown case, saying the prosecution had not established a prima facie case for the former senior official of The World Bank and The Reserve Bank of South Africa to answer.
In another case, Thahane was charged with three others, namely Mosito Khethisa (former Principal Secretary in the ministry of finance, under the then minister Timothy Thahane), Civa Innovations and Management (Pty) Ltd and Mokhethi Moshoeshoe.
Their charges were based on the allegation that Thahane and Khethisa had facilitated a fraudulent transaction of state funds to CIVA Innovations Management (Pty) Ltd who were supposedly contracted to handle a wool an mohair business on behalf of the government of Lesotho.
The three negotiated a Plea and Sentence Agreement with the crown, which were subsequently reduced to a Court Order that: Withdrew all charges against Accused No. four (Moshoeshoe) in his personal capacity.
Accused No. two, Mr Khethisa was convicted on a charge of contravening section 22 (1) of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act, 1999 as amended.
Khethisa was as a consequence, sentenced as thus: A fine of M30,000.00 or 12 months imprisonment.
Accused No. three, Messrs CIVA Innovations Management was convicted on a charge of fraud as set out in count two, in the indictment and on a charge of contravening section 22 (2) of the prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act of 1999 as amended.
CIVA was sentenced to a fine of M100,000.00 and to compensate the Government of Lesotho in the sum of M6,500,000.00.
No order was made against Dr Timothy Thahane, as he wasn’t part of the plea negotiations, rather, the prosecution have started work on the separation of the trial that will see him summoned back to court in front of a different judge, so says the prosecution, sooner rather than later.
Justice Molefi Makara., Presiding Judge.
Mr Penzhorn SC with Mr Seema for the Crown.
Mr Ntsebeza SC with Miss Qofa for Accused No. 1 (Dr Thahane) and Mr Schalkwyk SC for Accused Nos. 2, 3, 4 (Khethisa, CIVA and Moshoeshoe.)
Date March 09, 2016.