Highlands water partner up on bribery

South African Press Association (SAPA)
February 9, 2005

A Lahmeyer International director, one of the international companies involved in the construction of the giant Lesotho Highlands Water Project, is expected to appear in the Lesotho High Court soon on charges of corruption and bribery, according to court papers.

SAPA’s correspondent in Lesotho reports that according to the papers, Raymond Stock had allegedly paid R1-million between 1996 and 1999 to the then chief delegate in the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission, Reatile Mochebelele.

Mochebelele was head of the water commission made up of delegates from Lesotho and South Africa.

Mochebelele bought R1.9-million house

According to the court papers, Stock allegedly bribed Mochebelele with the money to solicit work done to be on the Lesotho Highlands Water Project by the Germany-based company.

Mochebelele is now working for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) secretariat in South Africa.

Mochebelele has since bought a mansion in South Africa at a cost of R1.9-million. The house was bought in March 2004 with the assistance of South African-based Leadcon Projects.

Impregilo to face corruption charges

Several international companies involved in the construction of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project are still facing charges of bribery and corruption in Lesotho.

Others were found guilty for their corrupt involvement in the project that sells water to South Africa, and were ordered to pay millions of rands by the courts.

Another company facing corruption and bribery charges is Impregilo of Italy, which is alleged to have bribed some officials of the project with R11-million.

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