Suspended BNP boss grilled

Suspended BNP boss grilled

MASERU -Suspended BNP secretary general Thato Lethobane was yesterday grilled at a disciplinary hearing over the suspected misuse of party funds.
The party’s spokesperson, ’Masetota Leshota, said at the end of the hearing the disciplinary committee will make recommendations on what should be done with Lethobane.

“He is being charged with misuse of party funds and he will face a disciplinary hearing for that,” Leshota said.
She said Lethobane had asked for some documents he left at the BNP Centre as part of his defence.
“He will have to check them right there before the case starts,” Leshota said yesterday before the case began.

Leshota said investigations into the party funds started even before Machesetsa Mofomobe was elected party leader.
Lethobane was suspended from office in July.
Leshota said the party treasurer is the only individual who should handle party funds, according to their constitution.
Lethobane is accused of not depositing some funds into the party’s bank account after tenants at the BNP Centre, a business complex, paid their monthly rentals.

“The treasurer discovered that some money was missing when he was paying some workers,” Leshota said.
The treasurer informed the national executive committee and Lethobane was suspended and investigations were launched.
The investigating committee submitted its preliminary report to the party’s national executive committee last week.
Leshota said the report said Lethobane was a suspect, implying that he could have taken some funds from the tenants.
“The report says he instructed them to deposit the rentals into his Ecocash and Mpesa accounts,” she said.

She said the report suggests that Lethobane tricked the tenants as they knew him as representing their landlord, the party.
“He is the one who issues the receipts after rental payments, so they thought there was nothing wrong with depositing the money in his accounts,” she said.
Leshota said Lethobane, who is part of the national executive committee, took part in the decision that he should be investigated pending investigations.
Leshota said disciplinary committee will come up with a decision after its sitting.

“I should state that the NEC can recommend to the leader to suspend a member of the NEC if need be,” she said.
She said in this case the leader was consulted and he agreed that Lethobane should be suspended pending full investigations.
She said it is a mistake to pay someone else yet the sublease is clear that the money should be paid to the party treasurer only.
Lethobane declined to comment, saying he did “not want to discuss this matter in depth”.
“I only received a suspension letter not a letter of accusation”.

Nkheli Liphoto

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