Canadian firm fined R22m in Lesotho

Business Day South Africa (Sapa)
October 28, 2002

MASERU – A Canadian construction company, Acres International, was fined R22.5-million in the Lesotho High Court today for bribery linked to the Lesotho Highlands Water Project that supplies water to South Africa.

The court convicted the company on two counts of bribery totalling R6.47-million. The charges involved the payment of bribes to the former chief executive of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, Masupha Sole.

Sole was bribed to induce him to award lucrative contracts in the project to Acres International.

Passing sentence, Chief Justice Mahapela Lehohla said it was the first time in living memory that a case of corruption of this kind had been brought before a Lesotho court.

The court reserved its decision on a defence request for an application to suspend payment of the fine pending appeal against the sentence to the court of appeal.

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