Staff Reporter

MASERU – DESPITE having alerted the police to the alleged corruption in the Ministry of Mines Mohapi Borotho finds himself facing a plethora of accusations. Questions have been raised about his interest in reporting the matter to the police. Some say he complained to the police as a way of fighting for Trans Hex, a company that had promised him contracts if it won the deal. He is also accused of demanding that Mines Minister Lebohang Thotanyana gives him contracts in Mothae in order to get the case dropped. In the following interview we put all these and other allegations to Borotho:

What is your relationship with Trans Hex?

I am not a shareholder. When Trans Hex came to Lesotho it said it wanted me to supply construction services and the yellow plant (earthmoving equipment). They said they wanted me to also provide catering, cleaning and security services. We had marketed ourselves. I was coming in as a service provider. But when there was a problem I said there was a corrupt relationship between Sputnik and the Minister of Mines. That is what I said and I could see from the process?

Who initiated the meeting between you and the Minister?

The meeting was called by the minister. It is the minister who said let’s meet. The minister said he wants to meet. I got a call from the minister. During the meeting I gave him a list of what I was going to do for Trans Hex and he said there is no problem since I have a local company. He then said he will speak to Sputnik about the issue. 

But there is a recording indicating that you are demanding those things on the list?

My friend I did not demand anything from the minister. I went there with a proposal. I had no right to demand anything from the minister. Who am I to demand anything? My arrangement was with Trans Hex. I went there to hear what the minister wanted to say. He is the one who said I must stop the case I had reported to the police.

Did you agree?

I did not agree. I went back to the police to say there was no deal. That is why there is nothing. I am not interested in Sputnik, I want Trans Hex. I cannot work with Sputnik because there is a corrupt relationship.

There are allegations that you went to meet Police Minister Monyane Moleleki about the matter.

That is a lie. It’s Borotho who went to Minister Moleleki. Minister Moleleki went to Thotanyana to warn him. He was warning him as a colleague. He said check these things. There is no one who pushed him. In terms of the Mining Act the Mining Board has the power to make recommendations to the minister. But in this case the minister overtook the board and went ahead with his own decision. The police told me that he said he cannot sign (to sell the shares to any company) unless there is something for him. He was saying this to the police and they were shocked.

What is your relationship with Minister Moleleki?

I am a legitimate member of the Democratic Congress (DC). I have a relationship with the people in all structures of the party. That means I obey the constitution of the DC. I vote for the DC.

You have been charged with Minister Moleleki over some mining licences.

I can be charged with anyone.

Can you confirm that Phooko was also in the meeting you had with the minister?

Yes he was there as a service provider. He has his own company. He is an engineer. Trans Hex was looking for local service providers and Phooko is a service provider. As Basotho we are entitled to benefit for that project. We are fighting. Yesterday the police went to the office of the principal secretary and asked her if the deal had been signed. She said there is nothing like that. There is no recommendation on which company should get the deal. This thing is the same as what is happening with the Bidvest issue.

Is it true that you demanded 12.5 percent of Mothae and also wanted Sputnik to invest in your mining company?

That is not true. I asked why Basotho are not benefiting from the mining sector. I asked why they are not having a stake in the mining companies. I then said in future we should ensure that Basotho get a stake in the companies. I was not asking for this to benefit me but Basotho. I was just lobbying.

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