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Court of Appeal to rule on Private Sector Foundation row

Nat Molomo

MASERU — The Court of Appeal will on Friday deliver the judgement on which faction has the right to run the affairs of the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL). Three Court of Appeal judges Justices Douglas Scott, Noel Hurd and Wilfred Thring last week reserved judgment after hearing arguments following an appeal lodged by one of the PSFL factions led by Leonia Mosothoane.

Mosothoane is locked in a bitter fight with a rival faction led by prominent businessman Osman Moosa who has been convicted for fraud. The Mosothoane faction lost control of the Foundation after the High Court dismissed its application with costs. They wanted the court to validate its meeting held on August 31, 2012 in which they ousted the PSFL board led by Moosa. The High Court ruled that the meeting was not held properly.

During the hearing last week, counsel for the Mosothoane faction, Qhalehang Letsika, submitted that an interpretation that would seek to suggest that the members who removed the “board” led by Moosa from office acted unlawfully would make it totally impossible for the members to carry out the provisions of the constitution. He said the Mosothoane faction had adopted a new constitution and there was no structure by the name of “board.” He said the applicants had fully complied with the tenets of the provisions of the constitution. “There is no evidence that the applicant has not complied with the requirements of the applicable constitution,” he submitted.

He said the respondents had failed to discharge the burden resting on them to show that the AGM of August 31, 2012 was unlawful. “It is common cause that the applicant registered the new constitution, which replaced the founding constitution,” he said. He submitted that it is common cause that members of the PSFL asked for an extraordinary meeting on a number of occasions which was subsequently held on June 2012. The meeting was nullified by the High Court judge on August 30, 2012 following proceedings in another application.

In August last year members held the AGM which passed a number of resolutions one of which was to appoint a new executive committee. On behalf of the respondents Advocate ’Manthatisi Khesuoe submitted that in the absence of a formal resolution authorising this appeal, it is doubtful whether Mosothoane is genuinely acting for the association.
“An adverse inference should therefore be drawn to the effect that she has appealed on her own accord for her own individual interests in the absence of a formal resolution authorising her to have lodged this appeal, more so, after her application for stay of execution in the court a quo has been dismissed and the original board of executive committee of the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho has been reinstated pending appeal,” she said.

She asked that the appeal be dismissed as it was meant to waste the court’s time because Mosothoane had not been authorised to lodge the appeal. Khesuoe submitted that the appeal should be dismissed with costs.

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