Africa-Press – Lesotho. RETHABILE Mokaeane, Lesotho’s High Commissioner to the UK, is facing disciplinary action for refusing to pay school fees for a diplomat’s child in South Africa. Mokaeane told this to the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) this week.
She said she was only observing the law in her refusal to pay M250 000 for the third secretary Lineo Palime’s child “because that child does not live in London but in South Africa”.
“The law is clear that we pay for children living where we have been assigned to,” she said.
“I received a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying they are taking measures against me because of my misconduct,” she told the PAC.
Mokaeane said she refused to carry out the instruction of Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary, Colonel Tanki Mothae, to pay for children who are not staying in London.
She said the misconduct charge is unclear as she reported several times to the ministry that she is working with people who cannot do the job perfectly.
“I told them that I struggle to be supported to do the job for Basotho,” she said.
She said things became worse after some employees started to enter into the government accounts and pay their accounts without her knowing as an authorizing body.
She said she reported this to the PAC, the police and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO). “The anti-corruption (agency) asked for corroborating documents and I provided them,” she said.
Mokaeane said days after she reported the issue she received a letter saying she should show cause why legal measures could not be taken against her. She said she replied saying the one to be accountable on the issue was the principal secretary not her.
“After five days of my response I received another show cause letter that had many allegations without evidence,” she said.
She said it is surprising that the very same employees she reported to the PAC “are now witnesses on the case that might even make me lose my job”. She also said she is being “accused of addressing her commission colleagues as kids”.
She said she is also accused of maladministration but “there is a third secretary there who is in charge of the commission’s funds”. “I am determined to stand for myself, even if it costs (me) my job.
I am ready to protect the law and the funds of Basotho,” she said. She said she is being intimidated just because she refuses to pay for the employee’s child school fees in South Africa, “which is unlawful according to our law”.
“I cannot steal the money by paying for a child who does not stay in London but stays in South Africa, it is unlawful,” she said.