A KHUBETSOANA man was on Monday arraigned before the Magistrates’ Court to face charges of defrauding the First Lady, ‘Maesaiah Thabane’s Trust Fund of M65 000.
Thabang Mojakhomo (32) is accused of conniving with his wife, ‘Makarabo, who was arrested for a similar offence last Tuesday. However, mystery surrounds ‘Makarabo’s whereabouts after the police reported her missing from police custody last Thursday.
That same Thursday, ‘Makarabo’s husband Thabang was arrested and he was on Monday charged with fraud for allegedly working together with his now missing wife to defraud ‘Maesaiah Thabane’s Trust Fund of M65 000.
Thabang is accused of working with his wife to misrepresent to Décor Art Furniture Shop in Ha-Hoohlo, Maseru, that they needed money for the benefit of the trust fund.
As a result of the misrepresentation, Thabang is alleged to have received M65 000 on the pretence that the money was for the benefit of the trust fund which his wife worked for.
The said offence is alleged to have been committed between February 2018 and May 2018.
During his court appearance, Thabang’s lawyer, Advocate Molise Molise, applied for his bail, arguing that his client was not flight risk and that he had cooperated with the police during the investigations.
“He (Thabang) has cooperated with the police since he was arrested,” Adv Molise said, adding, “He has no intention to flee because he is a Lesotho citizen and he has a family which depends on him for support”.
“The accused person is at this juncture presumed innocent. The law requires that where the accused appears in court for the first time, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” Adv Molise added.
However, the Magistrate, ‘Makopano Rantšo, postponed the bail hearing to tomorrow after the prosecution said it needed more time to prepare its argument to oppose the bail application.
“The matter is therefore postponed to the 8th of June 2018 for bail application,” Ms Rantšo ordered.
Thabang was subsequently remanded in custody pending the finalisation of his bail application.
The couple’s case has attracted attention in the aftermath of the alleged disappearance of ‘Makarabo.
‘Makarabo was arrested last Tuesday and she was due in court last Thursday in connection with the fraud and theft of at least M200 000 from the Maesaiah Thabane Trust Fund.
However, she did not appear in court with the police alleging that she escaped from their custody between 9 and 10 am last Thursday while they were preparing to take her to court.
In a statement to the Lesotho Times’ sister Sunday Express publication on Friday, Police Spokesperson, Superintendent Mpiti Mopeli, said the “police are looking for Makarabo Mojakhomo from Lecoop, Khubetsoana in Maseru who escaped from police custody on 31 May 2018 at a time when we were preparing to take her to court for her hearing”.
‘Makarabo’s family have since filed an urgent High Court application seeking an order to direct the police to produce her dead or alive.
In their court application, the family went as far as citing social media reports that ‘Makarabo could have been murdered by the police while being interrogated over the suspected fraud.