NMDS loses millions to fraud

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NMDS officials Thabo Ntoi and Flory Rakeketsi with development planning PS Sello Tṧukulu

By Neo Kolane

The National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) has lost an amount of M1,519 790.55 which was meant to help with the sponsorship of Basotho students in the past year, due to the fraudulent activities of some of its employers.

The principal secretary of the ministry of development planning Sello Tṧukulu said the ministry caught wind of bank payment confirmation slips that were fraudulent from students so that they could receive sponsorship from the NMDS.

Tṧukulu said the fraud was confirmed by Standard Lesotho Bank, which indicated that the slips did not belong to the bank, proving that the money involved was not deposited in the NMDS account number.

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He disclosed that another fraud involved falsification of educational qualification by students applying for sponsorship at NMDS.

“The fraud was stopped when the application for sponsorship was to be admitted after realising that the educational qualifications are fraudulent.

“This is where two boys Lehlohonolo Ntlale of Khubetsoana and Motlatsi Monoane of Ha Thamae appeared before the courts of law.

“They are arrested for forging educational certificates,” Tṧukulu revealed.

It has also emerged that criminal activities have been rife at NMDS because another fraudster called Napo Tlali is busy calling institutions of higher learning which are sponsored by NMDS, demanding a list of students who have applied for scholarships, promising them that NMDS will increase their quota.

The institutions of higher learning have been made aware of this fraudster. NMDS and ministry of development planning pleads with parents and students to be on the look-out for the imposter.

The NMDS public relations officer Moeketsi Rankhone has also been charged alongside with Monoane with fraud by the Maseru magistrate court on July 15 and 12, 2022 respectively.

Rankhone, (42) from Kolonyama Ha-‘Nena in the Leribe district, who resides in Matsoatlareng at Maseru, was charged alongside Lehlohonolo Ntlale, 28, of Makhaleng Ha Semione who resides at Maqalika.

Molantoa ‘Movie’ Kolobe (48) from Lower Thamae who works at the ministry of home affairs was also charged with fraud.

Ntlale and Monoane made their first appearance in court where they were granted a M700 bail which they were able to pay. They will appear before the same court on Monday July 25 while Rankhone together with Kolobe and Malataliana made their first appearance on Friday July 15.

Rankhone has been suspended from work and NMDS is in the preparing to take disciplinary action against him.