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Business mogul bemoan loss

Business

But police say investigations ongoing

Mohloai Mpesi

Entrepreneur, Makhetha Thaele has decried his loss of business after his fraud case which has taken a period of three years without trial.

Thaele who owns Lithabaneng Filling Station, Braamfontein Filling Station as well as an accounting firm MF Holdings was suspected of allegedly defrauding the government of M17million three years back. He was charged alongside Police Constable Mokone Bereng, Abiele Moletsane who is also a former Standard Lesotho Bank employee, and businessman Thabiso Mapetla, Joel Lerotholi and ‘Mamothibeli Piti who are both employed at the Standard Lesotho Bank.

The six were charged for contravening section 57 (1) (2) (a) of the Penal Code Act No.6 of 2010 read with Section 109 “in that upon or about October 2018, the accused did, acting with common purpose, unlawfully stole money belonging to the tune of M17 million by transferring it electronically to their different bank accounts,” the 2018 charge sheet read.

Thaele and Mapetla who were represented by Advocate Molise Molise were given bail by Magistrate Peter Murinzi who was presiding over the matter.

Thaele told this publication the charge against him did not only injure his integrity but he is also unable to proceed with business after his bank accounts got frozen. He said his clients are no longer interested in working with him due to the pending court case.

His Post Bank personal account, Standard Lesotho Bank, three First National Bank accounts belonging to his companies and one personal account as well as his sister’s personal accounts got frozen.    

“I lost business and my hands are tied, I am not able to continue because no one wants to work with me. What I want is the case to proceed so that I can be charged if found guilty or left alone and my accounts if not guilty,” he said.

“I was working with tenders before; I was also working with banks to give me an overdraft because I am not longer getting tenders since here is a pending court case against me.

“My integrity suffered a blow in one way or another, I cannot do business right now, I have lost clients and I can only do business with only people I know on a personal level. There is no one willing to do business with me,” he said.

Meanwhile, for the police’s part, Sub-Inspector ‘Mareabetsoe Mofolo indicated that investigations into the matter have not been finalised and are still ongoing.

She further stated that Thaele’s co-accused are still on the run which is the reason for the delay in the matter.  

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