FORMER Ministry of Mining Principal Secretary (PS) Clement Lerotholi appeared before the Magistrate’s Court on Monday charged with fraud.
Mr Lerotholi is accused of making misrepresentations to the then Minister of Mining Tlali Khasu, resulting in the issuance of a kimberlite mining licence in Hololo, Butha-Buthe.
The license was awarded to Qholaqhoe Holdings.
Part of the charge sheet reads: “In that between June 2013 and April 2014, (the exact date unknown to the Prosecutor) and at or near the Ministry of Mining in the district of Maseru, the said accused unlawfully, deliberately and with intent to defraud, represented to the then Minister of Mining and/or the Ministry of Mining of the Government of Lesotho that the Mining Board of the Ministry of Mining had recommended Qholaqhoe Holdings to be granted a mining license to prospect kimberlite in Hololo in the Butha-Buthe district, with the intention that the minister and/or Ministry should act upon the said misrepresentation to its detriment, and thereby causing the minister and/or the ministry to so act.”
According to the charge sheet, Mr Lerotholi violated provisions of Section 68 (1) of the Penal Code Act of 2010.
The former PS is also facing an alternative charge of corruption for allegedly abusing his position to facilitate the license, thereby violating section 21(3) (b) of the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act No 5 of 1999 as amended by section 13 of the Amendment Act of 2006.
However, Magistrate Polo Banyane on Monday granted Mr Lerotholi bail of M1000. The former PS is back in court on 24 February 2016.