MASERU — Three prominent lawyers are embroiled in a battle for control of People’s Choice FM (PC FM) radio station.
Advocates Salemane Phafane and Thabo Mpaka together with attorney Ts’abo Matooane are among 20 respondents in a lawsuit in which Mohau Thakaso, who claims to be the major shareholder of PC FM, is fighting to kick out the company’s managing director Motlatsi Majara, some senior managers and other directors.
Thakaso alleges that the other directors bought shares fraudulently and that Majara benefited from the irregular sale of company shares.
These allegations have not been independently verified by this paper.
Nor has Thakaso provided any evidence to prove the allegations.
Majara has in the past insisted that there is no truth in the allegations.
He has also insisted that he would rather have the matter dealt through internal processes rather than the courts.
But Thakaso has said only the courts can be a neutral adjudicator in the dispute.
On July 30 Thakaso acquired an interim court order interdicting and restraining Phafane and Matooane from representing PC FM in any case involving the radio station.
Phafane has always represented PC FM management, which is led Majara, in all cases against Thakaso.
In some of the cases Phafane was instructed by Matooane.
Apart from being the legal representative of Majara’s faction, Phafane and Mpaka and Phafane are members of the PC FM board.
The interim court order has also declared the “power of attorney” given to Matooane and Phafane by Majara’s faction “null and void and of no force and effect in law”.
According to the interim order Phafane, Mpaka and other senior PC FM managers are prohibited from holding themselves out as directors.
PC FM directors targeted by the order are businessmen Hubbard Monaheng and Thabo Mosala, the managing director Motlatsi Majara, one ’Mats’epo Ramakoae and Rethabile Pholo, a former radio presenter now working for the Independent Electoral Commission.
Those interdicted from calling themselves shareholders of PC FM include a local company, Wrenjos Holding, owned by Monaheng and Mosala, the station’s popular disc jockey, Liteboho Nkuebe also known as “Counter Force”.
Former newsreader and journalist, Falla Lisanyane, has also been cited in the court papers.
The station manager, Kholu Qhobela, has also been called to answer why she cannot be interdicted from holding herself out and benefiting as a shareholder.
The interim court order also directs Majara to repay M134 640 which he received from the company when he sold his shares to other directors.
That’s because, according Thakaso, the directors used PC FM’s money to buy Majara’s shares.
The BB Alert Security boss, Mathibeli Moleko, has been ordered to pay back to the company M34 000 which PC FM paid to him when he sold his shares to Wrenjos Holding.
Thakaso wants Moleko to repay the money with interest.
Majara, Qhobela and the company accountant, ’Mamalang Molatseli, have been restrained from having access to the funds of PC FM held at Standard Lesotho Bank.
The Standard Lesotho Bank has been interdicted from “carrying out and honouring any instruction” and “from having any dealings” with the current Majara faction.
The tussle between Thakaso and his co-directors in the PC FM started when one director, Teboho Mothae, allegedly sold his shares to Wrenjos Holding, Mpeqa, Mohlotsane, Lisanyane, Nkuebe and Qhobela, according to Thakaso’s affidavit.
He argues in the affidavit that that sale and transfer of shares “were invalid, null and void”.
“There was no notice of sale to the secretary of board as mandated by the articles of association of (PC FM),” reads part of Thakaso’s affidavit. “There was no circular issued by the secretary to each member containing the particulars of the notice of sale.”
He says PC FM, being a private company, “restricted the right to transfer shares only to its shareholders in terms of its articles of association and (the) Companies Act.”
He says all those who bought the shares “were not, during or before the transfers, shareholders of (PC FM).”
“The said shares were bought by (PC FM)’s funds, in contravention of the Companies Act and company law generally.”
Thakaso has since taken the share sales and transfer matter to the police who opened a criminal case against eight people at PC FM.
The case will be heard in court on Wednesday.