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Ex-secretary's plan for office to foot bill for lavish wedding

By unknown | Jan 19, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Lenyaro Sello

Lenyaro Sello

President Thabo Mbeki's former office secretary, Lebohang Molotsane, allegedly tried to defraud the presidency of R50000.

Molotsane was dismissed on October 12 for "gross misconduct".

Three days after her dismissal, she allegedly booked her wedding reception for December 15 at the Riviera-on-Vaal Hotel.

Molotsane submitted a letter, signed by herself, on a letterhead from the presidency that read: "Kindly please note that the presidency will take care of all costs. The director-general in the office of the president and other office bearers will be on the guest list, therefore the venue will be security cleared prior to the event."

Chigo Gondiwe, public relations officer for the hotel, said: "The hotel receives a lot of government bookings. The staff did not query her booking because she followed the exact procedure."

The lavish wedding included the hiring of an exclusive conference facility, complete with a dance floor, and the hotel's Petit Verdot floating restaurant, accommodation, including a honeymoon suite, catering, the hire of 20 extra staff and telephone usage.

Gondiwe said they only realised later that the letter was forged.

"We sent the invoice to the presidential office and they wrote back stating that they knew nothing about the wedding," she said.

Mokone Ratshitanga, spokesman for the presidency said: "There will be a management meeting where this will be discussed and an assessment made about what should be done."


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