MASERU — A Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) faction which lost control to businessman Osman Moosa is appealing against a ruling delivered by High Court judge Justice Semapo Peete last Wednesday. Justice Peete ruled that Moosa is the PSFL chairperson seven months after his rival, Leonia Mosothoane, replaced him at a controversial elective conference on May 24 last year. In papers seen by the Sunday Express, the Mosothoane-led faction is arguing that Justice Peete erred and misdirected himself when he made the ruling.
They argue the judge based his decision on a different matter handled by Justice ’Maseforo Mahase on August 30 last year. Justice Mahase’s role on that day was to determine whether or not a meeting the faction held on May 24 was properly convened and constituted. Justice Mahase found that the meeting was improper. Justice Peete said to make a ruling on the leadership question between the two factions amounted “to reviewing the judgment of Madam Justice Mahase”.
“The issue for determination before the learned judge was different from the issue that Madam Justice Mahase had to determine,” the faction’s lawyers, Mei&Mei, argued. They also argue that Justice Peete committed an irregularity when he heard their case on January 7 after agreeing with the Moosa camp’s attorneys, MV Khesuoe Chambers, in their absence despite the fact he had on December 6 postponed the matter to February 13 this year. “For the court to do what it did there ought to have been an application of anticipation, which would not be justified in the circumstances, or alternatively, there ought to have been agreement of all parties involved, namely counsel for both sides,” said Mai&Mei.
They also argue the May 24 election that saw Mosothoane elected PSFL chairperson had not been declared invalid at the time when the case was heard. That elective conference also resolved to adopt a constitution that was opposed by another faction outside the conference hall and that constitution was registered at the Law Office on June 11, 2012.
Justice Peete ruled that “there ought to be a prayer requesting the court to declare the constitution” valid.
“The validity of this constitution becomes effective upon registration and it does not need a declaration by a court of law to that effect,” argues Mei&Mei.
On May 24, 2012 Moosa was replaced by his long-time nemesis, Mosothoane, following a bitter power struggle.
Moosa was not present at the meeting as he was said to be in Durban, South Africa, on a business trip.
The resolutions, seen by the Sunday Express, say the Moosa-led committee of three members who included funeral parlor giant Lesotho Funeral Services director, Kutloano Sello, and another businessman Montsuoe Lethoba should be disbanded.
Other members of the Moosa-led committee were allegedly no longer participating in the PSFL activities.
The Moosa committee was removed because “it was inefficient,” according to the resolutions.
Previous efforts by the PSFL members to kick out Moosa failed last year as several meetings flopped.
In one of the meetings, held at State Library on March 14 2012 and chaired by Bam Consultancy director Tsepang Mosena, it was resolved that there should be a vote of no confidence to the PSFL board.
Moosa did not attend the meeting.
The minutes, seen by this paper, say the board did not seem to be serving the PSFL members’ interests “an example being the poor attention to detail of this critical meeting, as well as not shedding light to the members on their business”.
“They agreed that the secretariat needs to prepare for a special meeting where the board will be invited to give their position on the aspect of their service,” reads part of the March resolution.
“The outcome of the meeting shall be a determinant factor on the motion of no-confidence against the board”.
The meeting was scheduled for March 23 but failed to take place.
The members then wrote a petition to Moosa demanding that he holds the extraordinary meeting on March 24 which he never did.