MASERU — Leonia Mosothoane’s legal battle to oust convicted businessman Osman Moosa as Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) chairman has crumbled following the dismissal of her appeal by the Court of Appeal on Thursday.
Mosothoane started her legal battle last year when she applied for a High Court order to have her confirmed as the PSFL chairperson following the removal of Moosa and her election at a meeting on May 24.
Justice ’Masefolo Mahase dismissed that application on account that the meeting had been convened in contravention of the foundation’s constitution.
But despite that judgment Mosothoane and her faction prodded on by implementing the resolutions of that meeting.
In June her faction registered a new constitution and called for an annual general meeting.
The annual general meeting held on August 31 confirmed Mosothoane as the chairperson of the foundation.
Mosothoane’s faction then filed another application to have her leadership elected at the August 31 meeting declared legal.
On February 13, 2013 Justice Semapo Peete dismissed that application, saying the meeting was illegal.
It is that judgment that Mosothoane had appealed in the Court of Appeal.
On Thursday the Court of Appeal agreed with that High Court judgment and dismissed Mosothoane’s application with costs.
The ruling means that Moosa remains at the helm of the PSFL despite growing pressure for him to stand down on account of his 2011 conviction for tax fraud and evasion.
In his judgment Justice Douglas Scott said the election of the “board and Mosothoane as its chairperson must be accepted as being invalid”.
Justice Scott said “Mosothoane’s act in calling an annual general meeting was irregular and in breach of the PSFL’s constitution”.
The judge said Justice Peete was right to have dismissed Mosothoane’s application seeking to have her confirmed as the chairperson following the August 31 meeting.
He said the fact that Justice Mahase had already declared the May 24 meeting illegal meant that any decisions made thereat were unlawful.
The annual general meeting in August was also illegal because it was convened by the same leadership that had been elected at the May 24 meeting.
“It is true that more than 50 percent of the paid up members attended the meeting, but significantly none of the respondents attended,” the judge said.
The judge pointed out that the fact that they and others did not do so is understandable in the light of Judge Mahase’s judgment.
He said had they done so there is nothing to suggest the resolutions taken at the meeting would have been carried out.
According to Justice Scott absence of prejudice was not established.
“It follows that the election of the executive committee on August 31 2012 was invalid,” the judge said.