Punished for fighting corruption

Punished for fighting corruption

MASERU – A junior police officer has told the Public Account Committee (PAC) how her bosses gave her a torrid time after she refused to go along with their corrupt activities.
Lance Sergeant ’Mathebe Motseki, a store-keeper at the Police Training College (PTC), said she was under incessant pressure from her bosses to sign for goods that had not been approved.
She said she was also forced to pay for goods that had not been delivered.

And when she refused her bosses haunted her and threatened her with dismissal.
Lance Sergeant Motseki said she was deployed at the PTC store-room in 2014 to receive goods and process payments thereafter.
Her job was to ensure that ordered equipment had supporting documents and pay suppliers.

She said her initial boss was Assistant Commissioner of Police Mahlape Morai, then PTC director.
She was later told to report to Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Tšeliso Moerane who was then Senior Superintendent and PTC administrator.
She said her trouble started thereafter.

“The PTC then experienced delivery delays while some equipment never reached the institute,” Lance Sergeant Motseki said, adding that she was then instructed to lie that she had received those goods. She said when she refused her bosses called her ‘disrespectful’ and ‘wild’.
At one time, she alleged, her bosses accused her of leaking confidential information because she queried Moerane about an ox she said had been ordered yet she had not received it.
Lance Sergeant Motseki said the truth is that only six of the 12 beasts ordered for a graduation ceremony had arrived.

“They wanted me to process payment for those that had never arrived but I refused,” she said.
“I was told that I was ‘playing’ with my work and I would wish I could turn back the hands of time”.
She said she was told that she would one day be stripped of her police uniform.

Lance Sergeant Motseki said the pressure could not get her to bend to appease her bosses because it was clear that they were violating procurement regulations.
Instead she tried to help ACP Moerane to understand how PTC funds should be managed.
She said she gave ACP Moerane a financial book “but l am not sure if he read it”.

One day she was summoned by then Commissioner of Police Kizito Mhlakaza to appear before his advisory committee.
“I was ordered to pay for rotten eggs that Moerane had bought from his Indian business friend.”
Lance Sergeant Motseki told the PAC that she refused to pay for the eggs because they were rotten “and by so doing I would be misusing the nation’s funds”.
“I was embarrassed in that meeting because as I entered the room, Commissioner Mhlakaza stood up and gave me his chair to sit on.”
She said she knew the motive was to humiliate her.

When quizzed by the PAC over the allegations levelled against him, ACP Moerane denied that he paid for goods that were never delivered.
“All the goods that were ordered under my administration of the PTC were received and paid for,” Moerane said.
“I am not aware of any goods that were not received,” he said.

ACP Moerane kept saying he did not remember things that were put to him during the cross examination.
PAC chairperson Selibe Mochoboroane told Moerane that even if he could not tell the committee all that he did, he knew the truth.
Motseki said she was later transferred to Maseru Central Police station.

She said Moerane wrote in her file that her colleagues should watch her because she was behaving like a ‘civilian’ not a police officer.
She said she had full information about how her bosses embezzled PTC funds.
Motseki said she did her best to protect the government’s money from being misused but she failed.

She said after she was transferred, her bosses brought in Kapa Qacha who worked as an accountant.
Lance Sergeant Motseki said she tried to advise Qacha to use the government’s funds with caution but unfortunately she insulted her.
Mochoboroane said Morai who was the main boss at the PTC, did not prevent the embezzlement of the funds because her husband Mhlakaza was the Commissioner.
Morai is now director of the Police Complaints Authority.

“So you did whatever you did knowing that you are on the safe side,” Mochoboroane said to Morai, adding: “The very sad side is that somebody will pay for every cent that has not been accounted for.” “The government’s money will not be lost this way,” Mochoboroane said.
In response, Morai said her duty was not to oversee the PTC procurement because that was Moerane’s job.

She said she was unaware that some goods never reached the PTC.
“I had always thought everything was alright,” she said.
Mochoboroane instructed Police Commissioner Holomo Molibeli to ensure Motseki’s security “because she has given damning evidence against some people here”.
“Some people may not like it,” he said.
Commissioner Molibeli promised that Motseki will be afforded security.

Thooe Ramolibeli

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