Embassy caught up in fresh storm

Embassy caught up in fresh storm

MASERU – THE Lesotho consulate in Gauteng has been caught up in a new scandal over the rental of its property in South Africa.
This comes three months after the country’s diplomats were expelled for importing and selling booze in that country illegally.
Lesotho has three units at the Highbury Killarney flats in Johannesburg where one of the flats has been occupied by one Charles Modise without paying rent to the consulate since June last year.

If Modise is paying his M10 000 monthly rent, he is not paying it to the government, according to a source.
This means at the end of August, Modise could be owing the government M140 000 in rentals.
Instead of writing a letter to Modise demanding payment, the Consul General, Majoro Mohapi, allegedly wrote him a letter terminating the sublease agreement.
“How is Mohapi going to recover the money? Only him and God know,” the source said.

Vice Consul, Thato Sibolla, was said to have been kicked out of the property to make way for another tenant.
thepost understands that Sibolla was given five hours to pack her belongings to the new place.
thepost saw the letter Mohapi wrote to Sibolla.
The source said Sibolla refused to leave and “the poor woman is sitting on a sharp stone at the consulate”.
Sibolla, according to the source, finds herself surrounded by politically connected people when she is just a civil servant.
She declined to comment last night.

Another source said the issue of the government property at the Highbury Killarney flats “needs an in-depth investigation by the DCEO and I bet something is bound to be found”.
The Consul General Mohapi declined to comment when thepost called him last night.
However, Foreign Affairs Minister ’Matšepo Ramakoae conceded that “there is a worrying level of disorderliness at this ministry that I am working hard to address”.

Ramakoae said she was unaware of the issues at the Highbury Killarney flats but “it is improper to rent out the property when there are staffers who are without accommodation”.
“These houses are meant for the staff and nothing else. They can only be rented out if there is excess,” Ramakoae said.
Ramakoae said the problem of misuse of government property in South Africa came to her attention when she was still a member of a parliamentary committee before she was appointed a minister.

She said after her appointment she started working on the matters.
“This one you are talking about has not reached me. But, if it is like that, it is totally wrong and unacceptable,” she said.
“I don’t know anyone by the name of Molise occupying any of our properties there. The only Molise I know is our driver,” she said.

Staff Reporter

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