South African Press Association
Sapa, Mail & Guardian online
September 4, 2003
Maseru: The Lesotho government has taken another step to show the world that it will continue to fight corruption after the bribery scandal involving millions of rand over the construction of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili announced the establishment of a commission of enquiry to investigate alleged corruption in the issuing of building permits by the Maseru City Council in connection with the reconstruction of the Maseru city centre.
The reconstruction of the city centre followed the destruction of commercial buildings that took place during political protests in Lesotho in 1998.
A senior judge in the Lesotho High Court and a judge of the Court of Appeal, Michael Ramodibedi, has been appointed chairman of the commission.
He will be assisted by a practising engineer, Lebohang Phooko, and a member of the fraud division in the Lesotho Mounted Police Service, Senior Superintendent Mathibeli Hlaele.
The terms of reference of the commission will investigate the procedures prescribed in the processing and issuance of planning and building permits by the Maseru City Council during the period December 1998 and December 2002.
The deputy attorney general, Tsokolo Makhethe said: “The collective effect of the commission of enquiry will be to investigate the existence of corrupt practises in the issue of building permits for the construction of buildings in the Maseru City Centre.”
The former chief executive of the Lesotho Highlands Development Authority, Masupha Sole, is currently serving 15 years for accepting bribes from several international contractors and consultants. – Sapa