Lesotho Water Minister Dismissed After Being Charged With Fraud

Lesotho’s Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs Timothy Thahane was dismissed while he defends himself in court against fraud charges, the government said.

Minister of Communications, Science and Technology Ts’eliso Mokhosi will take over Thahane’s duties until a new appointment is made, Deputy Prime Minister Mothetjoa Metsing told reporters in the capital, Maseru, today.

Thahane, 73, was charged yesterday in Maseru Magistrates Court with two cases of fraud involving more than 24 million loti ($2.3 million), which relate to misrepresentations made about farming policy when he served as minister of finance and development planning. He is the second minister to be dismissed since Lesotho’s three-party coalition government took office after elections in May 2012.

Thahane, a former deputy governor of the South African Reserve Bank, will challenge the charges in court, his lawyer Letsika Qhalehang said yesterday. He was granted bail before the case resumes in court on Nov. 7.

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