By Nthakoana Ngatane
MASERU – Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro says while former minister in the prime minister’s office, Temeki T’solo denies that he signed the €100million agreement with Frazer Solar GmbH, his former secretary and a personal aide of former prime minister Tom Thabane say he made them sign as witnesses.
These are the latest revelations in a barrage of irregularities contained in the Supply Agreement that the German company used to get a €50million arbitration award in South Africa, that is now being used to attach Lesotho assets around the world.
Majoro has deposed the main affidavit in an application filed with the Lesotho High Court to nullify the agreement, and declare it unconstitutional, unlawful and invalid.
The application, made by the Attorney General, cites three respondents being Frazer Solar GmbH, Frazer Solar (Pty) Ltd – whose address is in Lower Thetsane – Maseru, and “the minister in the prime minister’s office”.
Asked why T’solo is not named as a respondent, Advocate Qhalehang Letsika of Mei & Mei Attorneys, the firm representing the Attorney General, said it was the office he was occupying that entered into the agreement, not T’solo in his personal capacity.
In the affidavit Majoro says T’solo had no authority to sign the agreement on behalf of the kingdom, and if he did, he failed to comply with the most basic legal requirement of obtaining cabinet approval.
“When investigators asked him, Minister T’solo said that he informed FSG (Mr Frazer) that he did not have the authority to give final approval for the project. Minister T’solo says he informed FSG that FSG’s proposal had to go through a process… if this is true then it means that Minister T’solo and FSG were aware of the process that had to be undertaken before any agreement could be concluded to bind the kingdom.” Says Majoro’s affidavit.
Majoro says in a letter from T’solo to Frazer dated three months after the agreement was signed, T’solo requested more time so that “other government stakeholders could be engaged” and that letter doesn’t refer to the Supply Agreement.
Despite T’solo’s denials, his then secretary, Ms Ntobaki, says she was called into T’solo’s office where Frazer was present, to sign as a witness to the agreement even though it was already signed. Former prime minister Tom Thabane’s personal aide Mr Matla also signed as a witness.
Majoro says the agreement also breaches the public finance management and accountability act. He says the agreement says money would be paid directly to Frazer and that is unconstitutional.
“The Supply Agreement requires the kingdom to procure loan funding, through FSG, from German financiers to be used to procure energy-efficient products from FSG. Only the minister of finance can validly sign such an agreement.” Says Majoro.
The agreement also cited the legal contact point as the office of the prime minister and not the Attorney General as is required, therefore the correspondence that was sent from the arbitration and courts that Frazer subsequently went to, ended in that office or with T’solo and his secretary, and never reached the Attorney General.
“The law requires that any litigation process against the kingdom be served to the office of the Attorney General.” Majoro
While giving T’solo the benefit of doubt on signing the agreement, Majoro still concedes he acted in bad faith and even suspects more sinister motives that border on premeditated treason.
“Minister Tšolo acted in bad faith to the detriment of the kingdom and for the exclusive benefit of a foreign entity…. It was therefore clearly the intention of the parties that the kingdom would have breached the agreement before it was even concluded and this entitle FSG to launch legal proceedings as it did.” says Majoro
Frazer has notified the court that it intends to oppose the application, and it has 21 days to file replying papers.
This is a continuing story…