Lesotho: Bank to Sell Tšolo's Property

IT never rains but pours for the former Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Temeki Tšolo, who has now lost his Mafeteng plot.

This after the Commercial Division of the High Court ordered the auction of his land after he failed to service his M939 155 loan he had received from Standard Lesotho Bank in 2013.

Mr Tšolo and his wife, Mamokhethi, had obtained a M939 155 mortgage loan from Standard Lesotho Bank when he was the Minister of Trade, Industry, Cooperatives, and Marketing.

The home loan was repayable at a monthly rate of M9 680.31 over a period of 228 months (19 years) inclusive of interest.

The failure by the Tšolos to service this loan prompted the bank to approach the courts in November last year demanding the remaining balance of M755 232.41 which the duo allegedly failed to pay despite the bank's letters of demand.

The High Court granted Standard Lesotho Bank's application last week.

"To the Sherrif or his deputy: you are hereby directed to attach and take execution of the immovable property of Temeki Phoenix Tšolo and 'Mamokhethi Tšolo who reside at a plot number 06464-1186 Tšalitlama, Mafeteng, Lesotho of the same cause to be realized by public auction the sum of M795,270.07 calculated as per attached hereto, together with interest thereon at the rate of 10.75 percent per annum from the 20 September 2023 until 24 April 2024 as per attached; plus any interest thereon outstanding from time to time from the 25 April to date of final payment," read the order.

"Further the defendants pay to the said plaintiff or his attorney the sum due to him with costs and interest as abovementioned, and for so doing this shall be your warrant."

The order to seize and auction the Tšolos Mafeteng homestead comes few weeks after the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) publicised its intention to prosecute Mr Tšolo in the High Court for the alleged fraud in relation to the M1.7 billion solar power contract he "unilaterally" awarded to the German Frazer Solar company in September 2018 while he was the Minister in then Prime Minister Thomas Thabane's office.

Mr Tšolo has been accused of unlawfully signing the solar deal hence he was criminally charged for fraud by the Maseru Magistrates Court in December 2021. This criminal case has since been moved to the High Court and the DCEO announced last month that Mr Tšolo will stand trial from 16 to 20 September 2024.

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