Tha­bane dis­pels nepo­tism claims

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - Mo­halenyane Phakela

LETŠENG Di­a­monds Com­pany board mem­ber, Se­limo Tha­bane, has dis­missed claims that his ap­point­ment was based on nepo­tism on ac­count of the fact that he is nephew to Prime Min­is­ter, Thomas Tha­bane.

Se­limo who is one of the di­rec­tors on the Let­seng board with a spe­cial fo­cus on hu­man re­sources and cor­po­rate so­cial in­vest­ment, said his ap­point­ment was above board as he is qual­i­fied for the post and also a ci­ti­zen of Le­sotho.

He was ap­pointed in Oc­to­ber 2017 along with one, Moeko Ma­booe, as the only Ba­sotho in the board of the di­a­mond min­ing com­pany where the govern­ment of Le­sotho has a 30 per­cent stake.

The ma­jor­ity 70 per­cent share­hold­ing is in the hands of Bri­tish firm, Gem Di­a­monds.

The other board mem­bers are chair­per­son, Clif­ford El­ph­ick, Johnny Vel­loza, Glenn Turner, Michael Michael and Bran­don de Bruin.

How­ever, the ap­point­ment has torched a so­cial me­dia storm with some sec­tions of the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion sug­gest­ing that he was only ap­pointed be­cause of his fam­ily con­nec­tions.

One Face­book user re­cently wrote: When (Prime Min­is­ter Tha­bane) said that he will cre­ate jobs for the youth of this coun­try, what he ac­tu­ally meant was that he will cre­ate jobs for his fam­ily”.

It was also sug­gested that Mr Se­limo was ap­pointed to re­place Lipolelo Tha­bane- the mur­dered wife of Dr Tha­bane.

Ms Tha­bane was shot dead by an un­known as­sailant as she was about to drive into her Ha ‘Masana home on 14 June 2017. The in­ci­dent oc­curred just two days be­fore Dr Tha­bane’s in­au­gu­ra­tion as prime min­is­ter for the sec­ond time.

Mr Se­limo, how­ever, re­futed the claims in a re­cent in­ter­view with the Sun­day Ex­press.

He told the Sun­day Ex­press that Min­ing min­is­ter, Keketso Sello, saw it fit to ap­point him be­cause of his ad­min­is­tra­tive ex­per­tise.

“I was not ap­pointed by my un­cle nor ap­pointed to re­place ‘Me Lipolelo,” Mr Se­limo said, adding, he was ap­pointed after the ex­piry of the con­tracts of some of the board mem­bers.

The Letšeng Di­a­monds web­site states that Mr Se­limo was ap­pointed on merit as he holds Bach­e­lor of Tech­nol­ogy De­gree in Labour Re­la­tions Man­age­ment from Vaal Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy in South

surely I would not have got­ten the post dur­ing Ntate (Pakalitha) Mo­sisili’s ten­ure be­cause I am a Tha­bane but if peo­ple say I got the post now be­cause my un­cle is the Prime Min­is­ter do they mean that I am not sup­posed to work? When and where should I work then? Even if I worked out­side the coun­try peo­ple would still have some­thing to say.

Africa.

“He also has a Di­ploma in Labour Re­la­tions Man­age­ment from the same univer­sity”.

“Mr Tha­bane’s pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes work­ing as Hu­man Re­source Of­fi­cer and Lec­turer at Vaal Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy, as Project Co­or­di­na­tor for Eind­hoven, Em­fu­leni and VUT Com­mu­nity Project, as In­tel­li­gence Of­fi­cer for the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ser­vice in Le­sotho and more re­cently as Hu­man Re­source Spe­cial­ist at Moun­tain Star Hold­ings. Mr Tha­bane is an ex­pe­ri­enced labour re­la­tions prac­ti­tioner and he pos­sesses as­tute lead­er­ship skills and ex­pe­ri­ence,” the web­site fur­ther states.

Mr Se­limo said he did not need a min­ing qual­i­fi­ca­tion to be part of the board be­cause his role was “to make in­puts on the ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sions of the board based on my qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence”.

“Ev­ery­body board mem­ber has a spe­cific area of ex­per­tise and mine is solely fo­cused on ad­min­is­tra­tion and hu­man re­source.”

Mr Se­limo fur­ther said that like ev­ery Mosotho, he was en­ti­tled ed to em­ploy­ment in his home coun­try and that be­cause he is from the Tha­bane fam­ily ily does not mean he is not sup­posed to work.

“Surely I would not have got­ten the post dur­ing ng Ntate (Pakalitha) Mo­sisili’s ten­ure be­cause I am a Tha­bane but if peo­ple say I got the post now be­cause my un­cle cle is the Prime Min­is­ter do they mean that at I am not sup­posed to work? When and where here should I work then? Even if I worked ked out­side the coun­try peo­ple would d still have some­thing to say.

“I am a ci­ti­zen ti­zen of this coun­try there­fore I am m also en­ti­tled to get a job not be­cause ause of my re­la­tion­ship with the e Prime Min­is­ter but based on my qual­i­fi­ca­tions.”

Dr Mo­sisili sili was Le­sotho’s Prime Min­is­ter ter be­fore his seven par­ties’ coali­tion ition govern­ment was re­placed by Dr Tha­bane’s ad­min­is­tra­tion in the af­ter­math of the 3 June 2017 snap na­tional tional elec­tions.

Dr Mo­sisili’s sili’s govern­ment also faced ac­cu­sa­tions ations of nepo­tism after his son, Retha­bile abile was ap­pointed chief del­e­gate to the Le­sotho High­lands Wa­ter Com­mis­sion mis­sion (LHWC) in April 2017.

Shortly after ter tak­ing over, Dr Tha­bane’s govern­ment rn­ment re­viewed Mr Retha­bile’s con­tro­ver­sial on­tro­ver­sial sec­ond­ment and sub­se­quently bse­quently re­versed it in a let­ter they wrote to him on 24 July this is year.

Dis­sat­is­fied d over the cur­rent govern­ment’s ment’s de­ci­sion, Mr Retha­bile e lodged an ur­gent ap­pli­ca­tion tion be­fore the High Court seek­ing eek­ing to nul­lify can­cel­la­tion of his ap­point­ment to the Wa­ter Com­mis­sion.

How­ever, the High Court judge Jus­tice Tšeliso Mon­aphathi in Oc­to­ber to­ber 2017, dis­missed his ap­pli­ca­tion pli­ca­tion and or­dered him to pay costs of suit.

LETŠENG Di­a­monds Com­pany board mem­ber Se­limo Tha­bane.

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