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Wool broker startles parly committee

Oct. 3, 2019 2 min read

MASERU – Wool and mohair broker, Dr Mohlalefi Moteane, this week made startling revelations that suggest government is out to shut him up as a prominent industry activist against the recently introduced wool and mohair regulations.

Giving testimony before parliament’s ad hoc committee probe related to a stalemate between the government and industry farmers over the regulations, Dr Moteane revealed that his company had been awarded an auctioneering licence whose requirements he twice failed to meet. In his second appearance before the committee Dr Moteane said he applied for a brokering license on two separate occasions but was turned down for failure to meet set requirements.

He said he was called for an interview before he was issued with an auctioneering license he had not applied for. “My application was rejected the first time, and a second time for not fulfilling the requirements and I accepted it,” he said. Dr Moteane said he greatly suspected government decided to issue him another license “only to shut me up because since the beginning of this saga I have been vocal, and calling for the repeal of these new regulations that have killed our business.

“Or it could just be a malicious manoeuvre to throw me in as an auctioneer, then stand back and watch me fail to their amusement”. He pointed out the interviewing panel comprised the Minister of Small Business, Cooperatives and Marketing Chalane Phori, development planning minister Dr Tlohelang Aumane, defence minister Tefo Mapesela, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture Dr Nthabiseng Makoae as well as the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Mochesetsa Mofomobe.


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He conceded he was asked genuine questions like what his recommendation to the government regarding the new regulations about the wool and mohair would be, adding “but I declined to make any.” “I was later called only to be given an auctioneering license and not the brokering license I had applied for. I know nothing about auctioning but I was given auctioneering license,” he told the committee.


Further in his allegations Dr Moteane suggested there was a wool and mohair smuggling syndicate in the country, implicating members of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service, the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) as well as South African immigration officials. “There is syndicate on wool and mohair in this country,” he commented. He told the Lesotho government that giving him a license would not deter him from fighting for the abolishing of the controversial Legal Notice No: 65 of 2018. He called for public support in fighting the regulations, arguing “the industry has been running smoothly without such regulations for more than 100 years, and it cannot just be changed according to the whims of these people”.

Other than Maseru Dawning, which has been given a brokering license, other companies which have been lately issued with licenses are BKB, OVK, Maluti Wool and Mohair and Highlands Veterinary Services, owned by Dr Moteane.

 

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