Ex-econet boss cleared of M1m fraud

Lesotho Times - - Business - Bereng Mpaki

ECONET Tele­com Le­sotho (ETL) for­mer Risk Man­ager, Tseko Molelekoa, is a re­lieved man, adding he can fi­nally re­build his life af­ter he was cleared this week by the Maseru Mag­is­trate Court of de­fraud­ing the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions giant of M1 mil­lion worth of air­time.

The case was be­fore Se­nior Mag­is­trate Phethise Motanyane at the Maseru Mag­is­trate Court.

Mr Molelekoa, along with an­other Econet em­ployee, were charged in Au­gust 2016 for al­legedly de­fraud­ing Econet of M1 mil­lion worth of air­time.

At­tor­ney Tu­misang Mosotho who rep­re­sented Mr Molelekoa in the case, this week told the Le­sotho Times that charges against his client were dropped due to lack of ev­i­dence link­ing him to the fraud.

The case is set to con­tinue in De­cem­ber 2017, with the co-ac­cused left to an­swer the fraud charges.

Speak­ing in the wake of his ex­on­er­a­tion this week, Mr Molelekoa said he was re­lieved that he would fi­nally get his life back on track with­out the dam­ag­ing fraud al­le­ga­tions hang­ing over his head.

He said he had al­ways main­tained in­no­cence in the face of the charges which had ru­ined his pro­fes­sional rep­u­ta­tion and so­cial stand­ing.

“It was very chal­leng­ing for me and my fam­ily dur­ing that whole time as I had no job and no job prospects due to the ongo- ing fraud case. But now that it is over, I am hop­ing things will go back to nor­mal in my pro­fes­sional life and I will be able to find a job,” Mr Molelekoa told the Le­sotho Times.

Mr Molelekoa said al­though he was happy the or­deal was fi­nally be­hind him, he was how­ever, con­cerned with the de­lays in the jus­tice sys­tem which caused him to wait for more than a year be­fore be­ing cleared of the charges.

“It would seem to me the jus­tice sys­tem in the coun­try is not so just af­ter this case went for al­most a year be­fore I was cleared. And I have suf­fered emo­tional tor­ture and also my busi­ness rep­u­ta­tion took a knock dur­ing all that time,” Mr Molelekoa said, adding, dur­ing that time he was un­able to find em­ploy­ment and he had to sell land that he had ear­marked for com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment in order to sur­vive.

He said he had lost out on the op­por­tu­ni­ties which he was pur­su­ing be­cause of the case.

Mr Molelekoa is cur­rently the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of En­ter­prise Risk Man­age­ment and Gover­nance Ser­vices, which he co-founded. It is a con­sul­tancy firm op­er­at­ing in Le­sotho and Botswana.

The com­pany has en­gaged in a risk aware­ness cam­paign tar­get­ing mem­bers of the pri­vate and pub­lic sec­tor to in­tro­duce to them the prin­ci­ples of the ISO31000 risk man­age­ment stan­dard. Over 20 lo­cal com­pa­nies ben­e­fited from this ex­er­cise.er­cise.

He said the charge also af­fected his re­li­gious us life as he was forced to put on hold the he ac­tiv­i­ties he was in­volved in as a churchch el­der.

He joined oined Econet in March 2010 and his con­tract­tract was not re­newed in Au­gust 2016. He how­ever, ex­pressed grat­i­tude to Econet­net for fund­ing his stud­ies and the op­por­tu­ni­ties por­tu­ni­ties they gave him.

“The com­pany (Econet) paid for my stud­ies at the Univer­sity Stel­len­bosch Busi­ness ss School in 2014 for Man­age­ment De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme and also my Post-grad­u­at­est-grad­u­ate Diploma in Risk Man­age­ment ement at Univer­sity of South Africa (UNISA) in 2016 which made me the e first Mosotho to hold that qual­i­fi­ca­tion, so they played a cru­cial role e in my pro­fes­sional sional de­vel­o­pl­op­ment,” he said.

FOR­MER ETL Risk Man­ager Tseko Molelekoa.

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