Two alleged scammers, Moleboheng ‘Malebohang Peshoane and Tholoana Mothibi appeared before the Maseru Magistrate court on Wednesday accused of swindling their victims out of more than M40,000 from 2016.
The duo, Peshoane (35) and Mothibi (28) were charged with contravening section 68 read with section 105 of Penal Code Act of 2010 and were released on M500 bail each.
Section 68(1) titled fraud states that a person who deliberately makes to another person a false representation, or conceals from another a fact which in the circumstances he or she has a duty to reveal, with the intention that such a person should act upon the representation to his or her detriment, and thereby causes him or her so to act, commits the offence of fraud.
The duo will appear before court again on December 1.
It is alleged they defrauded Little Darling English Medium School and some parents from 2016.
They forged bank’s proof of payments and presented them to the school as proof that Peshoane had purportedly paid school fees for her children.
Their deeds apparently came to light when Peshoane threw a stunt to swindle unsuspecting parents.
Newsday understands that one of the parents Peshoane scammed was ‘Masentle Ralebitso in October this year.
“She sent me a WhatsApp text (on October 24) saying her husband had paid fees for their two kids in full and said someone else also paid the fees in full not knowing that the husband had already paid,” Ralebitso said.
She said Peshoane wanted to exchange one of the proof of payments from the bank for cash with a parent who had not already paid the fees.
“I did not suspect anything wrong because she had previously wanted to exchange her kids’ school blazers for cash and I gave her M1,100 for those two blazers,” Ralebitso said.
So, when Peshoane showed her proofs of payment confirming that she had deposited two M5,225 in the school’s account, she did not suspect anything wrong.
“I asked her to go to school and tell the school that another M5,225 pays for my kids and bring a receipt from school. She did that, my kids brought receipts and I sent her M5,225,” Ralebitso said.
It was later discovered that Peshoane had not deposited M5,225 but only paid M52. There were a total of seven parents who she had scammed in a similar manner.
She claimed to others that she had deposited M6,225, while she had only deposited M62.
“We initiated a manhunt immediately and when I called her to ask what had transpired she acted surprised saying some parents had also told her that their children were expelled from classes. She said she was in Namibia and promised to call back,” Ralebitso said.
She never called back.
“When I called her again a week later, she said had financially difficulties and connived with FNB (First National Bank)’s teller to fake bank’s proofs of payments,” Ralebitso added.
When approached by this publication for a comment, FNB said: “FNB Lesotho is aware of the alleged incident. The Bank is in the process of investigating the matter. Due to the on-going investigations, we are unable to provide any information.”