MASERU – “I will fight this battle to finality.”
Those were Mohau Thakaso’s words after his attempt to personally prosecute PC FM’s managers and directors for perjury was thrown out by magistrate Tseliso Bale last Wednesday.
“I will never rest until these people are punished for the lies that they have been spreading,” Thakaso said in an interview on Thursday, a day after his case was dismissed.
“I am not the kind of person to give up. This fight is not over yet. Those people must not celebrate as yet because I am still going for them.”
“I will appeal that judgment to the international court. That’s how determined I am to get justice on this matter,” he added.
Armed with a private prosecution certificate issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Thakaso, who claims to be the majority shareholder in PC FM, had dragged the station’s director and managers to court seeking to have them punished for perjury.
In the dock were the station’s managing director Motlatsi Majara, station manager Kholu Qhobela and presenter Liteboho Nkuebe.
So was Khauta Mpeqa, the marketing manager whose shareholding in the station Thakaso is disputing.
Lawyers Salemane Phafane and Thabo Mpaka, who Thakaso also accuses of committing perjury in their capacity as PC FM directors, were sitting in the bar but they were on trial as well.
Thakaso, who decided to be the prosecutor, had barely started on the case’s merits when Mpaka and Phafane’s lawyer, Zwelake Mda, raised points of law.
Mda argued that because Thakaso had not followed procedure the case should be thrown out.
Thakaso, Mda argued, had erred in charging Phafane and Mphaka because the DPP had not given him authority to do so.
The private prosecution certificate said he could only charge Majara, Qhobela, Nkuebe and Mpeqa, Mda said.
He also pointed out that Thakaso had not paid security that would be used to pay the accused’s lawyers in case he lost the case.
Those arguments were enough to convince Magistrate Bale to throw out the case amidst desperate pleas by Thakaso for a postponement.
But Thakaso says the battle is far from over.
“I was not prepared for arguments based on points of law. They beat me on technicalities but the case is not over because I am now preparing for an appeal,” he said.
He still plans to prosecute the case himself but this time he will seek legal advice “just to be sure I am not caught off-guard again”.
He said his determination to fight was based on the strong belief that justice should be done.
“We need to teach people how to behave in this country. People should not just be allowed to hijack other people’s companies and then lie about it.”
Thakaso said it was not by choice that he ended up acting as a prosecutor in the case.
“It was just that the people that I thought would help me in the case were busy,” he explained.
Thakaso has been fighting to take control of the station he claims to have founded and funded since 2005.
Since then he has had endless court battles with the station’s employees, directors and shareholders.
He claims some of his shares were pinched and he is owed thousands of maloti for equipment he bought when the station started in 1996.
He claims that some of the individuals bought company shares fraudulently and that some people were not legitimately appointed to the board.
He has also suspended Majara and Qhobela.
At the last count Thakaso was pursuing eight court cases against some of the station’s directors, shareholders and managers.
Majara, who claims to own 25 percent of the station, resigned last Monday saying he was tired of the infighting.
In the meantime the station is tottering on the brink of collapse because its four bank accounts with Standard Lesotho Bank have been suspended at Thakaso’s instigation.
But Thakaso told the Lesotho Times that doesn’t bother him much because the company is in the wrong hands.
He said efforts to resolve the disputes peacefully had failed.
“What do I do when my company has been hijacked? What do I do when as a major shareholder I don’t even get reports on how the company is performing? I am not getting dividends from the company.”
Thakaso said he owns 62.5 percent of the station.
Last week, the Sunday Express said Thakaso’s legal fight to gain control of PC FM was coming back to haunt him.
The paper said he has lost eight cases, five of them with costs, since 2005.
And he is now sinking in legal debt.
It also said people he has unsuccessfully sued are now chasing after him for legal costs. So are the many lawyers that he has hired for his numerous cases.
So far there are three writs of execution against him for legal costs from cases he lost.
Two more might soon be coming and his property might be attached.