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RFP MP faces legal firestorm

Business

  • Accused of misappropriation of funds and contempt of court

Relebohile Makhetha

Lephoi Makara, Member of Parliament (MP) for the Malimong constituency and a prominent figure within the ruling Revolution for Prosperity (RFP) party, finds himself embroiled in legal turmoil.

The 43-year-old representative, hailing from Ha Mamathe in Berea, has been accused of contempt of court on multiple occasions.

Makara’s troubles stem from allegations of misappropriation of funds, a stark violation of legal statutes.

The charges, under Section 58 (1) read with 109 of the Penal Code Act No.6 of 2010, accuse Makara of intentionally diverting funds intended for the purchase and supply of laptops.

It is alleged that Makara, entrusted with money belonging to ICAP Lesotho for the purchase and supply of laptops through his company, Electro Tech Supplies (Pty) Ltd, knowingly and unlawfully misappropriated these funds.

Instead of fulfilling the agreed-upon transaction, Makara purportedly redirected the money for his own use or for purposes other than those sanctioned by the rightful owner.

As a result, Makara allegedly failed to deliver thirty-two of the laptops as agreed upon.

Magistrate Lerato Ntelane, presiding over the case, yesterday expressed deep concern over Makara’s repeated failure to comply with court procedures.

Despite being released on his own recognizance initially, Makara failed to attend his first remand in court on April 20, 2023.

Subsequently, the court scheduled another appearance for December 6, 2023, which Makara also missed. In his defense, Makara claimed he had travelled to Ficksburg.

However, the court deemed this explanation insufficient, leading to the issuance of a warrant for his arrest. Despite the court setting a date for March 7 for his appearance, Makara failed to appear once again.

He appeared before the court yesterday offering an explanation for his prolonged absence. He claimed that parliamentary duties had kept him away, justifying his failure to attend court proceedings. Specifically, he asserted that he was sent to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the parliament.

However, such excuses fell short in the eyes of the court, with Magistrate Ntelane asserting that Makara’s repeated contemptuous behaviour was intentional and unacceptable, especially given his position of influence.

In response to the severity of the charges and Makara’s repeated non-compliance with court orders, the magistrate imposed stringent bail conditions.

Makara was required to post M20,000 as bail and provide a surety of M100,000.

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