DCEO seizes new envoy’s property over fraud
THE Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) on Saturday seized two vehicles and three houses belonging to Makhathe Mankimane – a former Lesotho Flour Mills and Browns Cash and Carry employee who has allegedly been given an ambassadorial position in New York.
Mr Mankimane’s property was attached pending a fraud case against him and his lover, Nkeletseng ’Matumiso Mokone.
The seizure followed an interim order issued by High Court judge Justice Thamsanqa Nomngcongo on 27 November 2015, authorising the DCEO to confiscate the rental flats in Ha Thetsane, a Toyota Hilux and BMW 3 Series.
The court order further authorised the DCEO to facilitate the freezing of Mr Mankimane’s bank account.
DCEO prosecutor, Advocate Peter Matekane, on Monday confirmed the property seizure.
Meanwhile, Lesotho Times investigations revealed that Mr Mankimane ( 33) appears on a list of people recently appointed by government to represent Lesotho at embassies abroad. Sources also told the Lesotho Times he would be dispatched to New York.
Foreign Affairs and International Relations Information Officer, Teboho Mapetla, yesterday confirmed there was a list of new embassies appointees, but declined to provide the names because she was not authorised to do so.
Contacted yesterday, Mr Mankimane told the Lesotho Times he was attending “a short meeting” and promised to call back “shortly after I am done”. He did not call as promised and efforts to call him later proved fruitless.
Mr Mankimane, alongside Ms Mokone (35) of Thetsane, Ha Lesia, face fraud charges for allegedly swindling First National Bank of M700, 000 between September and October 2014.
According to the charge sheet, the duo, “acting in concert and in furtherance of common purpose, did unlawfully, deliberately and with intent to defraud, represented to the First National Bank a false spousal consent form purporting ’ Matumiso Mokone (Accused Two) to be a lawful wife of Accused One (Mr Mankimane)…”
As a result of the said misrepresentation, the court papers said, “First National Bank acted upon the said misrepresentation and to its prejudice and loss of M700, 000.00 whereas the accused, at the time they made the said misrepresentation, well knew that the said document was not a true document, thus committed the crime as aforesaid.”
The couple is therefore charged for contravening provision of Section 68 (1) of the Penal Code Act No.6 of 2010 read with Section 109 of the same law, as per the charge sheet.
On second count, Ms Mokone is further charged with contravening Section 70 (1) read with Section 109 of the same Act, in that she “unlawfully, falsely and with intention thereby to defraud and to the prejudice of First National Bank, forge an instrument in writing to wit: A spouse consent form did offer, utter and put off the said forged document to First National Bank. She, the accused, when she so offered, utter and put off the aforesaid instrument, well knew that it is a forged document, thus committed the crime aforesaid.”