Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act, 1999
Act 5 of 1999
- Published in Lesotho Government Gazette Extraordinary no. 50 on 12 August 1999
- Commenced on 12 August 1999
- [This is the version of this document from 12 August 1999.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short title and commencementThis Act may be cited as the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act, 1999 and shall come into operation on the date of its publication in the Gazette.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—"agent" includes any person employed by or acting for another;"benefit" has the meaning assigned to it under section 20;"book" includes any book, record, return, report, data stored electronically on computer or otherwise and any other document;"Deputy Director" means a person appointed by the Public Service Commission as Deputy Director of the Directorate;"Directorate" means the Directorate established under section 3;"Director" means the Director of Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences appointed under section 4;"Minister" means the Minister of Justice, Human Rights and Rehabilitation;"person" includes any company or association or body of persons, corporate or unincorporated;"principal" includes an employer;" public body" means any office, organisation, establishment or body created by or under any enactment or under powers conferred by any enactment; and includes any company in which the Government of Lesotho owns equity shares;"public officer" for the purposes of this Act, means a person holding any public office and includes a Cabinet Minister, a holder of a statutory position and a member of Parliament;"serious economic offence" means any offence which in the opinion of the Director due to the amount of money involved, the complexity, and nature calls for a different treatment in relation to investigation and prosecution.
Part II – Establishment of Directorate
3. Establishment of Directorate
4. The Director
5. Acting Director
Part III – Functions of Directorate
6. Functions of DirectorateThe functions of the Directorate shall be -
7. Powers of DirectorFor the performance of the functions of the Directorate, the Director may—
8. Power of Director to obtain information
9. Special identity cardThe Director may issue to an officer of the Directorate a special identity card which shall be full proof of appointment as an officer of the Directorate.
10. Power of search and seizure
11. Procedure after arrestA person arrested under section 38 shall be taken as soon as possible to a police station to be dealt with in accordance with section 32 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act of 19813.
12. Search with warrant
13. Search without warrant in certain cases
14. Exercise of powers of search and seizure
15. Surrender of travel document
16. Return of travel documentA person who has surrendered a travel document under section 15 may at any time make a written application to court for its return.
17. Resisting or obstructing officers
18. False reports to officersAny person who knowingly—
19. Falsely pretending to be an officerAny person who falsely pretends—
Part IV – Offences
20. Definition of benefitFor the purpose of this Part, "benefit" means—
21. Corruption by or with public officer
22. Corruption in respect of official transactions
23. Acceptance of bribe by public officer after doing actIf, after a person has done any act as a public officer, he accepts, or agrees to offer to accept for himself or for any other person, any benefit on account of such act, he shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been guilty of having, before the doing of such act, corrupted the public officer in respect of such act.
24. Promise of bribe to public officer after doing actIf, after a public officer has done any act as such officer, any person agrees or offers to give or procure for him any benefit on account of such act, the person so agreeing or offering shall be presumed, until the contrary is shown, to have been guilty of having, before the doing of such act, corrupted the public officer in respect of such act.
25. Corrupt transaction by or with agents
26. Bribery for giving assistance in regard to contracts
27. Bribery for procuring withdrawal of tender
28. Conflict of interest
29. Bribery in relation to auctions
30. Cheating of public revenueA person commits the offence of cheating the public revenue if as a result of his fraudulent conduct money is diverted from the revenue and thereby deprive the public revenue of money to which it is entitled.
31. Possession of unexplained property
32. Certain matters not to constitute defence
33. Failure to keep ledgers etc.
34. PenaltyAny person who commits the offence of corruption or cheating the revenue under this Part shall, upon conviction, be liable to a fine not less than M5,000.00 and not more than M10,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not less than 5 years and not more than 10 years or both and in the case of juristic persons the fine shall not be less than M10,000.00.
Part V – Powers of the Directorate
35. Laying of certain matters before the DirectorIf a person has reasonable grounds to suspect that a serious economic offence has been or is being committed or that an attempt has been made or is being made to commit such an offence, he may lay the matter in question before the Director by means of an affidavit or affirmed declaration specifying—
36. Inquiries by the Director
37. Bank accounts etc.
38. Entering upon premises by Director
39. Preservation of secrecy and admissibility of evidence
40. Compensation regarding expensesThe Principal Secretary responsible for the Ministry of Justice, Human Rights and Rehabilitation may, in his discretion and on the recommendation of the Director and with concurrence of the Minister of Finance, order that the expenses or any part of the expenses incurred by any person in the course of or in connection with an inquiry be paid from State funds to that person.
41. Limitation of liabilityNo person shall be liable in respect of anything done in good faith under this Act.
42. PenaltiesAny person convicted of an offence referred to in section 38 or 39 shall be liable to a fine of not less than M1,000.00 and not more than M2,000.00 or imprisonment for a term not less than 1 year and not more than 2 years, or both.
Part VI – Prosecution of offences
43. Prosecution of offences
Part VII – Evidence
44. Evidence of pecuniary resources or property
45. Presumption of corruptionWhere in any proceedings for an offence under Part IV or V, it is proved that the accused offered or accepted a benefit, the benefit shall be presumed to have been offered and accepted as such inducement or reward, as is alleged in the particulars of offence unless the contrary is proved.
Part VIII – Miscellaneous
46. Application for attachmentWhere a person has been convicted of corruption or cheating the public revenue under Part IV, the Attorney-General may apply for attachment under section 322 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act of 1981.
47. Application for restraining orderWhere a person, who is the subject of an investigation under this Act has been or is about to be charged with an offence under Part IV or V, the Attorney-General may apply to the High Court for a restraining order.
48. Frivolous, false or groundless complaints
49. Prohibition of disclosure of informationAny person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, discloses to any person who is the subject of an investigation in respect of an offence alleged or suspected to have been committed by him under this Act, the fact that he is subject to such an investigation or any details of such investigation, or publishes or discloses to any other person either the identity of any person who is the subject of such an investigation, commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not less than M500.00 and not more than M1,000.00 or to imprisonment for a term not less than 6 months and not more than 1 year.
50. Protection of informers
52. Annual reportThe Director shall, on or before 31 March in each Year or by such later date as the Attorney-General may allow, submit to the Minister a report on the activities of the Directorate in the previous years.
53. RegulationsThe Minister may make Regulations for carrying into effect the provisions of this Act.
History of this document
12 August 1999 this version
Published in Lesotho Government Gazette Extraordinary number 50
Cited documents 1
Documents citing this one 12
- Crown v Nala Capital Advisors (CRI/A 2 of 18)  LSHC 23 (21 March 2019)
- Manyokole v The Prime Minister (CIV/APN 463 of 2020)  LSHC 3 (18 February 2021)
- Manyokole v The Prime Minister (C of A (CIV) 15 of 2021)  LSCA 9 (14 May 2021)
- Metsing v Director General, Directorate of Corruption and Economic Offences and Others (CONSTITUTIONAL CASE 11 of 2014)  LSHC 1 (25 February 2015)
- Metsing v Director General: Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences and Others (C of A (CIV) 6 of 15)  LSCA 32 (6 November 2015)
- Metsing v Director of Public Prosecutions (CONSTITUTIONAL CASE 27)  LSHC 46 (12 November 2020)
- Millennium Travel and Tours and Others v Director of Public prosecutions (C of A (CRI) 15 of 6)  LSCA 12 (4 April 2007)
- Phaila v Director of Public Prosecution (CONSTITUTIONAL CASE 24 of 2018)  LSHC 7 (18 March 2021)
- Phakisi t/a Mapu Catering Services v Minister of Defence and National Security (CCT 199 of 2015)  LSHC 14 (31 August 2017)
- Sekoala v Directorate on Corruption & Economic Offences (C of A (CIV) 61 of 2017)  LSCA 16 (1 February 2019)
- SELKOL 1983 (Pty) Ltd and Another v The Crown and Another (CRI/T 120 of 2011)  LSHC 57 (9 September 2013)
- The Prime Minister v Manyokole (CIV/APN 463 of 20)  LSHC 4 (22 February 2021)