By: T’soloane Mohlomi

The case of two Revenue Services Lesotho (RSL) employees who are accused of accepting a bribe from a trader in exchange for ignoring a scheduled search on his imported stock will commence on the 15 January next year.

The first accused Mr Thabo Matsinyane and second accused Ms Lebopa Monaheng were summoned to appear before the Maseru Magistrate court on Friday the 15 of December, where their charges were officially read to them.

It is alleged that the duo accepted a bribe amounting to M2400 from one Takunda Chirendza who was rewarding them for their part in turning a blind eye in relation to his related consignment.

Upon being officially charged with the crime, the accused were afforded the chance to apply for bail and yielding to their right were subsequently released on a M1000 bail each. The conditions of their bail is that they attend the case to its finality, they don’t interfere with any police investigations and don’t interfere with any crown witnesses during the course of the case.

“You are hereby accused of contravening section 80 (1) of the penal code act no. 6 of 2012 read with section 80 (3) and (4) of the aforesaid act.

“In that upon or about the 13th day of December 2023 and at or near Pitso Ground Maseru within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, Accused 1 acting in concert and sharing a common intention or purpose with accused 2, did unlawfully and intentionally accept a bribe by agreeing to take an amount of two thousand four hundred Maloti (M2400) from Takunda Chiradza in lieu of conducting an inspection on the consignment of the said Takunda Chiradza or in his lawful possession.

“When accused 1 and 2 accepted the bribe as aforesaid, they knew that the bribe was given in lieu of their inaction to conduct an inspection on the said Takunda Chiradza to ensure compliance with the provisions of Customs and Excise Act and other revenue laws,” said Magistrate ‘Makopano Rant’so reading the charge sheet.

Acts of bribery and under hand deals are a common act during the holiday season as they’re continuously reported especially within the Christmas holiday season where droves of visitors and foreign based workers flood the country.