MASERU — Deputy Democratic Congress (DC) leader Monyane Moleleki and five others have been remanded to appear in court next Monday.
The High Court will make a ruling on whether to proceed with the case against the six who are facing fraud charges.
Moleleki, who was Natural Resources Minister in the previous administration, is accused with five others of making false mining licenses.
The other accused are Ts’epo Khofu, Kereke Moteletsane, Mohapi Khofu, and Refela Holdings.
The indictment states amongst others that the they contravened section 70 (1) (2) of Penal Code Act 2010, in that on June 4 2012, at the ministry of natural resources the accused unlawfully made a false document, purporting to be a prospecting licence N0. 2012 003 Form B.
Moleleki is also facing a charge of contravening section 21 of Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act 1999 as amended by section 13 (3) (b) of the Amendment Act N0. 3 of 2006 in that on May 12, Moleleki he did abuse the functions of his office for purposes of obtaining undue advantage for himself and his co-accused.
The case could not proceed because attorney Khotso Nthontho told the court that leader Advocate Sipho Mdhluli who is leading the crown team was not available.
Nthontho told the court the state has decided to withdraw charges against accused four, five and six.
This means that only three will face charges.
The defence team consists of Advocates Salemane Phafane KC, Zwelake Mda KC and Advocate Sakoane KC.
Advocate Phafane complained that this case could not be concluded within the allocated time frame because of logistical problems.
He said they had written to the crown requesting amongst others, a list of witnesses, documents and reports and statement of witnesses.
He said the crown had indicated that they would be calling 30 witnesses, while the defence would be calling 12 witnesses plus the five accused.
He said the crown served the defence with bundle of documents on May 17 and told the defence that they would be calling 15 and 17 witnesses not 30.
The defence indicated that they still had not yet received that bundle of documents, and even if it was to be availed to them them (on Monday), there was no way they could proceed with the case next week.
He said they have to read the bundle and the defence needed more time.