Nat Molomo & Caswell Tlali
MASERU — Moeketsi “Chaltin” Tsatsanyane and Makhoabe Mohaleroe have been at each other’s throat since last year.
Insults have been traded and threats have been exchanged.
The two prominent businessmen certainly detest each other.
The reason is that either of the two believes he is the rightful owner of Lesotho Public Motor Transport Company Ltd (LPMTC), a company that owns a filling station and property near the Maseru main bus stop.
It’s an issue both businessmen feel strongly about.
When they speak about each other they use harsh words.
Such was the anger both men exhibited in recent interviews with the Sunday Express.
Mohaleroe said Chaltin and four others with whom he claims to constitute the LPMTC board of directors should be grateful because he was sent by God to make them see light.
He said they neither had a stake nor a share in the company.
Those words angered Chaltin who hit back describing Mohaleroe as a “former convict who wants to steal our company”.
On the contrary, he said, Mohaleroe was “sent by the Devil to destabilise our company”.
So furious was Chaltin that he threatened to “take Mohaleroe back to jail where he came from”.
“He will be charged for stealing our company. Just wait and see,” Chaltin said in an interview with the Sunday Express.
What had peeved Chaltin was an Appeal Court judgment which said he and his colleagues should not have a say in the company.
That judgment had all but confirmed Mohaleroe as the rightful director of the company.
A jubilant Mohaleroe claimed victory over Chaltin and his team.
He said he had been vindicated and “justice had prevailed”.
Chaltin however described the judgment as scandalous, saying the court had misdirected itself.
And if the events at the courts this week are anything to go by, Chaltin has indeed made good his threat to get Mohaleroe charged.
Mohaleroe appeared in the Maseru Magistrate’s Court facing three fraud charges.
His son Pule Mohaleroe, whose directorship of LPMTC has also been challenged by Chaltin’s team, is facing two counts of fraud.
The first charge is that Mohaleroe allegedly illegally registered himself as a director of LPMTC by misrepresenting to the office of the Registrar General (law office).
His son is also accused of the same crime.
The second fraud count is that Mohaleroe purported to be and acted as a director of LMPTC.
It is alleged that he should not have held the directorship on account that he had been convicted of fraud in 1988.
People with previous criminal convictions are not allowed by law to be directors of companies.
Mohaleroe and his son are jointly charged with “unlawfully, falsely and with intent to defraud” misrepresenting to a tenant at the LPMTC complex that their Mohaleroe Family Trust had the right to collect rentals.
It is further alleged that as a result of that “misrepresentation” they got M21 000 from the tenant.
“The accused when making the aforesaid misrepresentation well knew that Mohaleroe Family Trust was not entitled to collect any rent from the tenants of LPMTC buildings and thus the said accused did commit the crime of fraud,” the charge sheet reads.
The two were not asked to plead but they were granted bail and the matter will return to court next Monday.
Yet even with those charges hanging on his head Mohaleroe has not stopped fighting for the total control of the company.
While Chaltin has been pushing for criminal charges against him, Mohaleroe has been pushing to get him and his team out of LPMTC properties.
On Tuesday he interdicted Chaltin and crew from entering the LPMTC premises.
He also wanted Chaltin’s group to stop collecting rentals from the tenants at the complex.
Claiming to be the managing director of LPMTC, Mohaleroe argued that the company would suffer irreparable damage if Chaltin and others continued to occupy the premises and collect rent from tenants.
Mohaleroe’s lawyer, Mokorosi Chobokoane, told the High Court in an affidavit that the respondents were threatening the company’s tenants with ejection from LPMTC premises if they did not pay rentals to them.
Chobokoane said the respondents were falsely claiming to be LPMTC directors and therefore entitled to rent.
He said the “respondents have fraudulently opened a bank account (at) Nedbank Lesotho misrepresenting to (LPMTC) tenants that this is the correct (LPMTC) bank account”.
He said Chaltin and crew allegedly directed the tenants to deposit their monthly rentals into account number 021000057735 at Nedbank.
The High Court granted Mohaleroe the interdict on Monday.
When the Sunday Express arrived at the complex on Tuesday Chaltin and company where preparing to vacate.
So how does the battle stand so far?
Chaltin has managed to get Mohaleroe charged but he has now been ejected from the company he is fighting for — so the battle continues.