A 43-year-old Motale Noosi of Masowe II briefly appeared
before the Maseru Magistrate Court charged with theft of over M32 million.
According to the charge sheet, Motale, the former Senior Accountant at the state owned learning institution, Lerotholi Polytechnic, is alleged to have intentionally and unlawfully acted outside the scope of his work when he was still the polytechnic’s Senior Accountant by stealing the sum of M32, 430.187.16 which belonged to the polytechnic during incidents that happened between 2007 and 2014.
By so doing, said the charge sheet, he was contravening the
provisions of Sections 59 (c) read with section 109 of the Penal Code Act no.6
After his charge was read and explained to him, Noosi applied for bail which the crown did not object and was therefore granted on conditions that he pays a bail deposit of M3,000, and find an independent Mosotho who shall stand him surety in the sum of M50,000.00.
The court also ordered him not to interfere with crown witnesses and police investigations, and that he must attend remands on set dates. He was further ordered to re-appear before court for further updates in his case on February 26, 2019.
He appeared before Magistrate Thamae Thamae. Advocate Qcinimuzi Tshabalala represented the crown.
Noosi had admitted to fraud and forgery before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
He is suspected to have stolen M32 million from the Polytechnic’s Standard Lesotho Bank account transferred to First National Bank (FNB) Ladybrand into account held by Adams General Horizon Trading, which belonged to him and one traditional healer who is a resident of South Africa.
He said he forged his former fellow employees’ signatures
several times to transfer the institution’s money.
He said the account into which the money was transferred between 2007 and 2013 was no longer existing.
It was also reported that an employee of Standard Lesotho Bank was an accomplice in the syndicate and police have been alerted of his or her involvement.
Noosi had initially denied all the charges put before him by the PAC and insisted that the signatures were legitimate but surprised the committee when he pledged to pay M16 million which he said he was expelled for, on his own.
He had requested that he be given an opportunity to negotiate with the institution management on the payment plan until all the M16 million has been recovered.
Mpho Morojele, who said she was the Polytechnic’s Bursar from 2003 to 2008 whose signature is one of those forged, gave her evidence that according to the documents before the committee she appears to have signed for 16 transactions which she said she knew nothing about.
“I never signed for those transactions, and one of them was done at a period when I was on leave because the documents show a transfer of M138 000 on November 7, 2007, but I was on leave from October 29 to November 30 the same year.”
Morojele further told the PAC that she has never, during her term as Bursar signed a transaction for such a company and she has never heard of it until the documents were put before her.
She added, “in 2007 the institution did not allocate budget for a purchase of lap tops which appear on one of the transfers, therefore there was no way that such payment could have been made.”
Morojele said in all transactions in question, the requesting officer is Noosi but the signatories do not appear in the sequence that they ought to, and the bank confirmed the transfers with him instead of her as the Bursar despite the instruction made by the institution that she was the only one to confirm transfers of large sums.
The transfers exceeded M100 000 each.