THE trial in which two former senior National Security Service (NSS) officers are accused of defrauding the government over M6 million in salaries was on Tuesday this week postponed again as investigations into what really transpired are underway.
April 5, 2023
2 min read
Fraud case against ex-NSS officials halted again
The Maseru Magistrate's Court
Metro Audio Articles
Catch our weekly audio news daily only on Metro Radio Podcast News.listen now
The matter that continues before Magistrate Thamae Thamae is expected to resume on May 2.
This, after the accused were on March 21 released on M5 000 bail each by the Maseru Magistrate Court.
The accused include Tau Makhalemele, 49, of Mahobong, Leribe who was employed at the Ministry of Defence at the NSS as Director of Human Resources, and Teboho Liau, 43 of Masowe 1 in Maseru who worked as the Human Resource Manager at the NSS.
It is alleged that the two defrauded the government by processing the salaries of 50 intelligence officers who were never actually hired.
On January 26, 2016, the former Director General (DG) of NSS, Mohlakana Lerotholi made a request to the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Defence to fill 50 vacancies of Intelligence Officers.
The court heard how the request was granted by the PS and an advertisement was issued in February 2016 inviting candidates aged between 18 and 25 in possession of Cambridge Overseas School Certificate (COSC) and diploma qualifications to apply. The closing date for applications was on March 10, 2016.
Later that month, Lerotholi resigned as head of the organisation and DDG Lealimo Makakole who was responsible for the NSS’s administration became the acting DG.
Enjoy our daily newsletter from today
Access exclusive newsletters, along with previews of new media releases.
The court heard how during that time the recruitment process did not proceed, hence interviews were not held.
The court papers reveal that the accused persons directed NSS employees in the salaries department to process the questionable salaries in accordance with the positions and grades filled.
It is alleged that at the time of the misrepresentation, the accused knew that the people who were receiving salaries from the NSS payroll were not employed by the intelligence services.
As a result, the government suffered actual prejudice in the amount of M6 422 761.99 in the form of salaries.
The accused were on March 21 released on condition that they do not interfere with Crown witnesses, attend remand hearings and stand trial to finality.