MASERU — A High Court judge on Tuesday lashed out at a furniture company boss for allegedly hiding behind three companies to avoid paying her suppliers.
Sebopeho Lerotholi who is the managing director for Khomola Pty Limited Company is at the centre of a payment dispute with a local furniture supplier, Nazareth Furnishers.
The case began some time in 2006 when Nazareth Furnishers supplied some building material to Mejaro.
Lerotholi was the managing director for Mejaro.
Although the company had paid through cheques to Nazareth Furnishers, the cheques were dishonoured by the bank.
Nazareth Furnishers then sued Mejaro and the Maseru magistrate’s court in a ruling delivered in 2006 ordered Mejaro to pay the sum of M6 000 to Nazareth Furnishers for the material.
But in a fresh twist to the case, Lerotholi approached the High Court seeking an order to declare the execution improper.
Lerotholi claimed the property that had been seized did not belong to Mejaro but belonged to another company called Khomola.
On Tuesday it however emerged that Lerotholi was wearing two hats as managing director for both Mejaro and Khomola.
It also emerged in court that Lerotholi is the director of yet another company called Fabulous Fabrics.
“So you used many companies to avoid paying your suppliers?” Justice Kelello Guni asked.
“It seems you use many companies for convenience,” she said.
Lerotholi had told the court that the messenger of court presented the summonses to her at Khomola.
She said the messenger had mistakenly presented such summonses to her at that time because the summonses were addressed to Mejaro company.
However she accepted the summonses.
Justice Guni told Lerotholi that if she did not have anything to do with those summonses she could have directed the messenger of court to the correct company.
“You wear this cap and put it off when it suits you.
“If not, why didn’t you tell the messenger of court that Mejaro is situated in Mafeteng?” Justice Guni asked.
However, a lawyer representing Nazareth Furnishers Khathatso Mabulu said Khomola was established after Mejaro had been served with court papers for not paying its debt to Nazareth Furnishers.
“You only changed the names after realising that your goods had been attached.
“You kept on changing names with the intention to hide your identity,” Mabulu said to Lerotholi.
The case continues.