MASERU — People’s Choice (PC) FM’s top brass is set to appear in the Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to answer fraud charges stemming from the long-running battle for the control of the radio station.
The charges were laid after local businessman Mohau Thakaso, who claims to be the major shareholder in PC FM, alleged shares in the company had changed hands through illegal and irregular transactions.
Managing director Motlatsi Majara will appear in court together with station manager Kholu Qhobela over the charges relating to the transfer of shares in the company.
Former newsreader Falla Lisanyane and presenter Liteboho Nkuebe, popularly known as DJ Counterforce, are also expected to appear in court over the same charges.
So too are PC FM official Khauta Mpeqa and Refiloe Mohlotsane, a former presenter with the radio station better known by her moniker Queen.
Thabo Mpaka, a local lawyer who at one time was a co-signatory with Majara for one of PC FM’s bank accounts, is also expected in the dock over the fraud charges.
Thabo Mosala and Hubbard Monaheng, who co-own Wrenjos Holding, a local company which bought shares in the radio station, are also set to appear before the Magistrate’s Court.
Police started investigating PC FM’s top brass in November 2008 after Thakaso reported that his erstwhile partners and others had allegedly used the radio station’s money to buy shares in the company.
According to the court papers, when one of PC FM’s founding directors, Teboho Mothae, allegedly sold his shares to Wrenjos Holding, Mpeqa, Mohlotsane, Lisanyane, Nkuebe and Qhobela in 2005, the purchase was funded by the company.
PC FM is said to have paid Mothae M30 000 in eight instalments of M3 750 a month.
Later that year another founding director, Mathibeli Moleko, allegedly sold his shares to Wrenjos Holding.
Moleko allegedly sold his shares for M64 000 and Mosala is said to have paid M30 000 with the remaining M34 000 coming from PC FM’s coffers.
PC FM reportedly paid Moleko M34 000 in eight instalments of M4 250 a month.
The prosecution says the PC FM top brass contravened section 58 of the Companies Act which prohibits companies from buying their own shares.
They are also charged with intending to steal PC FM from its lawful owners by allegedly colluding with non-directors to open accounts in local banks without the knowledge of the company board.
Mosala is cited in the charge as having colluded with the top management to open an account with Standard Lesotho Bank in the name of PC FM when he had no authority to do so.
They are also accused of having contravened the Sound Broadcasting Service Licence Act by running PC FM without authority from its board of directors.
The prosecution also says Majara and other top managers contravened the Companies Act by registering lawyers Salemane Phafane and Mpaka, former radio presenter Rethabile Pholo and one ’Mats’epo Ramakoae as members of the board without following procedure.
The PC FM top brass is also charged with sabotaging the audit process by barring a Lesotho Revenue Authority employee, Mosonngoa Monkhe, from probing the company.