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Messy fight over 357FM owner Majara’s estate

Mohalenyane Phakela

A MESSY fight has erupted over the estate of the late businessman and Onyx 357FM radio station owner, Mokuena Arthur Majara’s estate less than a month his death.

The fight is between the late Mr Majara’s girlfriend, Lireko Monica Khoeli, and the Majara family.

This after Mr Majara’s younger brother, Motlatsi Majara, and the deceased’s two daughters, Mabakhatla and Mamajone Majara, allegedly teamed up to evict Ms Khoeli from the late Mr Majara’s house in Maseru East. They also barred her access to Mr Majara’s properties which include the controversial radio station.

Ms Khoeli has therefore petitioned the High Court to interdict Mr Motlatsi, Ms Mabakhatla and Ms Mamajone from “interfering with, dealing with, using, hiding, dissipating or in any manner depleting or spiriting away the estate or any item that forms part of the estate of the late Mokuena Arthur Majara”.

Mr Motlatsi, Ms Mabakhatla, Ms Mamajone, the late Mr Majara’s estate, the Master of the High Court, Attorney General Rapelang Motsieloa, the Standard Lesotho Bank and First National Bank (FNB Lesotho) are the first to eighth respondents respectively in the application.

In her court papers, Ms Khoeli says she started dating the late Mr Majara in 2012 when he was still poor and she was assisting him financially. She alleges that she helped him establish 357FM radio and also paid M250 000 towards the refurbishment of the Maseru East where the station operates from. She says they sourced a loan from FNB Lesotho to start the radio station and the house was used as surety for the loan.

“The radio station was installed and all processes related to incorporation of the company, licensing were implemented by the deceased in collaboration with me as his partner,” Ms Khoeli states in her founding affidavit.

“The company was incorporated on 29 January 2013. It had four shareholders, namely Mokuena Arthur Majara, Sello Majara, Motlatsi Majara and Matšepo Majara. The deceased encouraged me to resign from my teaching work in Gauteng, South Africa, and join him at Maseru East as he needed me and my support at home in terms of looking after him, caring for him and the home. I resigned and moved in with him in 2016. I lived with him there since then till January 2022 when I left in circumstances which will be clear below. I bought home appliances and equipment and installed them in this new home for me.

“The deceased acquired further property at Seputana, Moshoeshoe II, another undeveloped site in Maseru East and established many business ventures.”

Ms Khoeli says the radio station was managed by Motlatsi Majara until he fell out with his deceased brother. This after he had sunk the station in debts including M250 000 owed to the Lesotho National Broadcasting Services (LNBS) and M85 000 to the Lesotho Communications Authority (LCA). The FNB Lesotho loan was not serviced under Motlatsi’s management, Ms Khoeli claims.

She further alleges that after the souring of relations between the two brothers, the late Mr Majara repossessed all the shares. He proceeded to make her the manager and administrator of the radio station, she claims.

“Immediately after firing the first respondent (Motlatsi) and his cohorts, the deceased discussed the matter with me and in view of our original ideas, we agreed that the deceased will appoint me to work as the manager and administrator of the radio station. I was duly appointed as the manager and the secretary of the company by the deceased who was acting as the director and board of the company.

“Upon taking up the reigns of the station and effecting structural, programmatic and marketing strategy changes as well as books of accounts required by the Companies Act 2011, the radio station began to flourish and made substantial profits,” Ms Khoeli says.

She states that Mr Majara told her that he was worried that Motlatsi would turn around and fight him. She further claims that in June 2020, Mr Majara appointed Ms Khoeli as the sole beneficiary of his estate, including the radio station. In September 2020, Mr Majara allegedly transferred the entire ownership of the station to Ms Khoeli. She says she has the relevant documents to back her claims.

Mr Majara died from diabetes on 19 December 2021 and he was buried on buried on 30 December 2021. A day later, Motlatsi, Mabakhatla and Mamajone allegedly teamed up to evict Ms Khoeli from the Maseru East house. Ms Khoeli says she vacated the house on 1 January 2022. The trio had grabbed from her the lease document of the house, company bank cards of accounts held at Standard Lesotho Bank and FNB Lesotho.

She says they also took the original letter appointing her as the sole beneficiary of Mr Majara’s entire estate and other important documents relating to the radio station such as the share certificate and the deceased’s death certificate.

Therefore, Ms Khoeli wants the High Court to reverse her “unlawful” eviction from the Maseru East house. She wants the court to declare her the sole owner of 357FM. She also wants the High Court to appoint her as the provisional caretaker of Mr Majara’s estate until the Master of the High Court appoints a substantive administrator of the said estate.

Mr Majara died at 71. Renowned for his business acumen, Mr Majara, an economics graduate, shot to prominence for bringing the popular Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) franchise into the country.

He was widely quoted as a business and political analyst by many local media outlets.

At the time of his death, he was at loggerheads with the LCA for refusing to apologise to Basotho Action Party (BAP) leader, Nqosa Mahao, after attacking the latter during several radio programmes between May and July 2021.

At the time of his death, the radio station had been shut down due to Mr Majara’s refusal to apologise to Prof Mahao and to hand over tapes containing the alleged attacks.

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