STEADFAST: Keketso Sello, Mining Minister says he is not going anywhere. A response to civil organisations that demanded his resignation.
  • 16 December, 2018

Mining minister, Keketso Sello has cautioned that he is not resigning any time soon and will leave his position only if the Prime Minister (PM) releases him.

Sello said on Sunday afternoon he is not running away from his personal aide (PA)'s scandal at all because he had no hand in the diamond deal that the PA had with whoever she was dealing with.
He reiterated that he has read on social media where people have been advising him to resign as it may be the honourable thing to do but he cannot run away from a scandal in which he played no part.
He indicated he met with Prime Minister Tom Thabane and the latter did not advise him to resign or put any kind of pressure on him which could make him feel like he has overstayed his welcome in the present government.
About the whereabouts of the PA, Sello told the publication that he was told that his aide has been transferred to Kroonstaad but apart from that he has no other information about her.
Refiloe Mokone was arrested in Ladybrand South Africa last week Monday for allegedly smuggling diamonds.
At the time Sello said he had only assigned her to facilitate importation of his wool to Thaba-Bosiu Wool Centre saying if she was arrested between his office and Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA) then he would be able to account for her arrest adding that he could not take blame for her arrest in Ladybrand as he had not assigned her there.
He stated that he only heard of the matter while on holiday in Mozambique with his wife and was quick to point that there was no way he could have cut it short because he needed it highlighting further that his return would not have made any difference because she was arrested saying he is only waiting for her court case on December 19.
“I was not involved in this diamond saga. I do not know anything about diamond smuggling,” stressed Sello.
Sello further explained that he employed Mokone to her office because she is a Mosotho national who needed the job and who was once a civil servant therefore he believed that she knew how a civil servant should conduct herself.
He indicated that he had an interest to have a mine years ago but after failing to secure investors he lost interest emphasising that since then he had never had interest to deal with diamonds.
According to statement from Directorate of Priority Crimes Investigation (HAWKS) South African Police Service Mokone (42), together with Bokang Nthatisi (25), Bakoena Mokoena (24), and Mandla Ntsibande(26), appeared at the Ladybrand Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday after they were arrested by the Hawks' Serious Organised Crime unit on Monday for allegedly dealing in diamonds.
The suspects were arrested around Ladybrand in the Free State Province following a tipoff that they were reportedly peddling unpolished diamonds. The diamonds worth approximately R100 000 were seized from the group following the arrest.
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