MASERU — The battle for the troubled Lesotho Public Motor Transport Company (LPMTC) reached boiling point last week amidst allegations that a trustee of the company has emptied its coffers.
Trustee, Ishmael Monare, who fought tooth and nail to oust the disqualified director, Makhoabe Mohaleroe, from the company because he was a convict now finds himself labelled a fraudster in court papers.
The allegations are contained in a replying affidavit by the company’s board of directors chairman, Moeketsi ‘Chaltin’ Tsatsanyane.
Tsatsanyane filed the affidavit that contains the damaging allegations after Monare filed court papers seeking to bar him from entering the company premises and attending board meetings.
In the application filed in early August, Monare said he wanted Tsatsanyane and other directors to stop receiving rentals from tenants operating businesses in the company property situated at the main bus stop in Maseru.
Monare accuses Tsatsanyane of having interfered with his collection of rentals in an “unwarranted manner”.
LPMTC owns a property housing a filling station, supermarket and six other businesses in Maseru.
Monare has told the High Court that he is “a better fitted person to collect rentals from our tenants and have been doing the same since the dethronement of Mr Makhoabe Mohaleroe”.
The two men fought together in a legal battle to push Mohaleroe out of the LPMTC earlier this year.
But in his affidavit Tsatsanyane alleges that it is actually Monare who should be barred from collecting rentals because he had defrauded the company.
Tsatsanyane alleges that a secretary to the company’s lawyer informed him that Monare requested him to hide a receipt book from him.
Monare allegedly made a similar request to lawyer Koili Ndebele.
He also allegedly asked a former tenant, Isaac Joseph, to keep some receipts so that Tsatsanyane would not see them.
“On the 14th day of July 2010 upon receiving information from Isaacs that he has (sic) some receipts with him, I was advised by Advocate Ndebele to check the receipt book as to whether it was not tampered with,” reads Tsatsanyane’s affidavit.
“After checking it with Advocate Ndebele we discovered that the first page of the receipt book was missing together with its duplicate,” the affidavit says.
“I quickly reported the said issue to the police station the same day and a docket no. is O.B.290/07/10.”
Tsatsanyane alleges that Monare took out the first pages of the receipt book and gave them to Joseph when the board pressed him to collect monthly rentals from him.
He says Joseph “informed me that the deponent Ishmael (Monare) had approached him to beg him not to disclose the said receipts because they will put him into trouble with the police and board”.
Tsatsanyane also says Monare could not collect rentals because he had ruined his relations with some of the tenants.
“He had at one point in time insulted one Ganchi Javed our tenant fighting for having denied the use of a toilet after he had left it splattered and unflushed,” Tsatsanyane said.
He alleges that Monare fought with two more tenants.
“His relationship with some of these tenants is such that they do not want to pay rental(s) to him.
“All in all, in the circumstances deponent is not better fitted person to collect rentals of the company.”
Approached for comment, Monare dismissed Tsatsanyane’s allegations as hearsay.
“He has not included the evidence of Isaac Joseph because he knew exactly well that Joseph would not agree with him,” Monare said, adding: “Where is Joseph’s affidavit that supports his allegations against me?”
Monare said Tsatsanyane could also not attach the evidence from Javed to his affidavit because “there is not even a little piece of truth in his allegations”.