MASERU — A former director of People’s Choice FM (PC FM), Mathibeli Moleko, says Mohau Thakaso is talking “rubbish” in his claims that the company’s funds were used when his shares were bought.
Thakaso has claimed that Moleko sold his shares for M64 000 to Thabo Mosala who paid him M30 000 whilst the remaining M34 000 was taken from a PC FM account.
Thakaso made a police report alleging more people in the company had acquired shares in the same fraudulent manner.
“This is clearly an irregular transaction performed by a knowledgeable person who was just doing it by force,” he said.
“It is not right for PC to have purchased the shares in itself or even to provide the money for the purchase of those shares.”
But speaking for the first time since the saga started Moleko told the Lesotho Times that he had never received money from PC FM as payment for the shares as alleged by Thakaso.
“Thakaso is talking rubbish,” Moleko said.
Moleko said he received M30 000 from Mosala who bought his shares and an additional M34 000 from PC FM which was money that the company owed him.
Moleko said the radio station owed money that he contributed for its running costs when it was still starting.
“The money PC paid me had nothing to do with shares. They paid me because they owed me and all these things are recorded in my files with Webber Newdigate who are my lawyers,” Moleko said
Moleko said squabbles at PC FM started a long time ago and they were mainly between Thakaso and the managing director, Motlatsi Majara.
He said the problems started long before some shareholders started selling their equity.
Moleko said the root cause of the clashes were small claims of money spent during the teething period of the company when they used to pay the company expenses from their own pockets.
At the time, Moleko said, there was no salary for the staff and everyone had volunteered to work without pay.
He said the directors used to pay allowances for the staff out of their own pockets in the hope that they could claim their monies when the company became viable.
Moleko said there were many quarrels over who had contributed more than others, and the clashes were mainly between Thakaso and Majara.
“At the time, we thought they were minor teething problems but as time went by I noticed that it was getting too far.
“On several times I tried to intervene but Thakaso would not listen,” he said.
Moleko said all hell broke loose when international financial institutions became interested in the radio station and were prepared to provide capital.
Moleko said one of the financiers was the Southern African Media Development Fund (SAMDEF) which was interested in buying shares.
“That was when the fight between Thakaso and Majara intensified. After realising that my intervention did not have any impact I decided to sell my shares and quit.”
Moleko however did not deny Thakaso’s claim that PC FM owed him for a transmitter that he bought.
He however said Thakaso was using a wrong approach to claim his money.
“Thakaso could have claimed his money the same way I did. He could have used his lawyers to make PC acknowledge debt like I did.
“Fighting Majara will not help him claim his money or control over the station.”
In an interview earlier, Thakaso said he was readying to kick out Majara and Kholu ’Mamohato Qhobela the station manager.
Thakaso accused the managers of poor performance and fraud.
“Ever since the establishment of this radio station 12 years ago there have been no dividends,” he said.
“They are only busy acquiring shares and operating company bank accounts in a fraudulent manner.”