28 February 2018

Lesotho - Deputy Health Minister Caught Up in Attempt to Smuggle R5m Worth of Dagga to SA

The family of Lesotho's deputy minister of health, 'Manthabiseng Phohleli, is embroiled in a drug-smuggling scandal after police found more than three-and-a-half tonnes of cannabis worth R5-million in a truck belonging to her husband as it crossed into South Africa.

The truck and its attached trailer were searched by the South African Police Service at the Maseru border post on January 23 this year and found to contain 147 bags of cannabis in a secret compartment.

The MNN Centre for Investigative Journalism (MNNCIJ) has learned that the truck is the property of Storm Transport, a Lesotho-registered company owned by Lebohang Simon Phohleli, the deputy minister's husband.

Lebohang is a businessman with interests in about 15 companies in Lesotho.

When the dagga was found, the truck was being driven by Phohleli's younger brother, Paseka Peter Phohleli, who was detained and later released on bail of R30 000 after appearing in the Ladybrand Magistrate's Court on charges of dealing in dagga.

He is expected to reappear in court next week, said SAPS spokesperson Captain Phumelelo Dhlamini.

Sources who attended the initial proceedings said Paseka claimed he was merely the driver...

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