MASERU — A magistrate has issued three warrants of arrest against People’s Choice (PC) FM bosses for contempt of court.
Ts’eliso Bale issued the warrants on October 2, instructing the police to arrest PC FM managing director Motlatsi Majara, station manager Kholu Qhobela and board member Hubbard Monaheng “immediately upon sight”.
“Whereas from information taken upon oath before me, there are reasonable grounds of suspicion against Motlatsi Majara of PC FM radio that he did on the 02 day of Oct 2009 commit the crime of contempt of court,” reads a warrant of arrest against Majara.
“These are therefore, in His Majesty’s name, to command you that immediately upon sight hereof you apprehend or cause to be apprehended, detain or cause to be detained the said and brought before magistrate court to be examined and answer to the said information, and to be further dealt with according to law.”
However, there are some abnormalities in the warrants of arrest.
The PC FM managers were allegedly found in contempt of court on October 2 but the stamp on the warrants shows that the magistrate issued them on September 30, two days before the crime was allegedly committed.
A secretary in Bale’s office insisted she was sure that the magistrate had issued the warrants on October 2.
She said the mistake might have happened because the date on the stamp was not updated.
According to the court papers, Qhobela avoided to be served with an order of court while Majara and Monaheng, acting in cahoots, refused to hand over important documents for investigation in their fraud case pending in the Magistrate’s Court.
The court papers, seen by the Sunday Express, say court messenger Liabo Selialia went to the PC FM offices to serve the radio station’s bosses with an order that they should not interfere with crown witnesses and that they should not hamper investigations in their fraud case.
The managers together with a popular PC FM disc-jockey, Liteboho Nkuebe, and another senior employee, Khauta Mpeqa, are facing 15 counts of fraud in the Magistrate’s Court.
The return of service (a form completed by the messenger of court) says Selialia upon arrival at the station requested to see Majara and Qhobela but was told that they were not present.
She was however given Qhobela’s home telephone number and she called her and read the order to her.
Qhobela allegedly promised to go to the office within 30 minutes to receive the order but she did not go.
Instead after roughly an hour Majara and Monaheng entered.
Selialia allegedly served them and Majara signed the receipt of the order.
Right at that time, according to a source at the radio station, a director who is accusing Majara, Monaheng, Qhobela and others of fraud entered the offices and demanded to be given some documents and a computer.
Mohau Thakaso, who claims to be the chairman of the station, allegedly said the documents he wanted would be used to find further evidence in the fraud case the PC FM top brass is currently facing.
Majara and Monaheng allegedly prevented Thakaso from taking the documents and computers.
The order Majara had just signed said they should not interfere with crown witnesses and investigations in the same case.
In the Magistrate’s Court they are accused of fraudulently causing the radio station to buy its own shares for individuals, a practice prohibited under the Companies Act.
The managers are also accused of fraudulently registering prominent lawyers as PC FM board members.
They are charged with contravening Clause 88(1) of the Companies Act of 1967 in that they registered lawyers Salemane Phafane and Thabo Mpaka as directors without following procedure.
They are also charged with registering Matsépo Ramakoae and Rethabile Pholo as board members of People’s Choice Broadcasting Studios without following the correct procedure.
The prosecution also says the top PC FM officials pinched the station’s funds to pay for Nkuebe’s medical expenses two years ago.
The managers are out on bail under conditions that they should not interfere with crown witnesses.
Their case will be heard in February next year.
Qhobela refused to comment, saying this paper should approach Majara.
Majara also declined to comment.
“Write whatever you want to please your readers,” Majara said.
Efforts to contact Monaheng were not successful.