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Old enemies bury the hatchet

Caswell Tlali


MASERU — Moeketsi Tsatsanyane and Ishmael Monare have put the swords back in their sheaths after years of wrangling over the control of the Lesotho Public Motor Transport Company (LPMTC).

The former rivals reunited last week to fight against a third faction of taxi owners who now claim to be the rightful owners of the company.

Tsatsanyane and Monare’s reunion comes at a time when Monare is facing a colossal legal fight against members of the Lesotho Bus and Taxi Operators Association (LBTOA), who claim ownership of the company.

LPMTC is a subsidiary company of LBTOA.

The taxi operators have registered a new board of directors with the registrar of companies and toppled Monare and Chief Nkau Nkuebe, who were trustees of LBTOA.

LBTOA controls 99 percent of the LPMTC thought trustees.

Late last month taxi owners allegedly beat Monare and closed shops that have rented space at the LPMTC building situated at Maseru’s main bus stop area.

They also beat up Mahommed, a Mosotho of Asian origin who tried to open his business Maluti Motors by force.

They told the Sunday Express that they expected Tsatsanyane to come so that they could “teach him that his days of doing whatever he wanted with the company” were over.

Seeing that fighting separately against the taxi owners and at the same time fighting against each other would not bear them any fruits, Tsatsanyane and Monare joined forces on Thursday.

Monare told this paper that “there is no more rivalry between us.”

“We realised that we have been fighting over petty things when we should be focusing on important things,” Monare said.

“With us fighting against ourselves, the company falls in wrong hands,” he said.

“Our lawyers are going to meet and talk so that we can jointly map our way forward.”

Tsatsanyane and Monare’s fights landed their lawyers in unwanted situations.

Tsatsanyane’s lawyer, Advocate Koili Ndebele, was jailed for four days for contempt of court after his heated exchange with Magistrate Molemo Monethi in a case in which he was defending himself against charges of contempt of court.

Ndebele had allegedly committed contempt of court when he prevented court messengers from executing Monethi’s judgment that favoured Monare against Tsatsanyane.

Monare wanted Tsatsanyane and his camp to eject from the LPMTC premises.

Monare’s lawyer, Advocate Tekane Maqakachane, also found himself at a fix when the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offences (DCEO) raided his office in search of documents which Tsatsanyane had claimed were produced fraudulently.

Magistrate Monethi’s office was also raided by the DCEO.

“Our lawyers will very soon meet so that we can resolve our differences,” Monare said.

Tsatsanyane said he has always sought reunion with Monare because “I have never understood what caused squabbles between me and my friend”.

“As you may well know, I am an advocate of reunion even in political parties because I understand that a divided house cannot stand,” Tsatsanyane said.

“I was very much hurt when my friend turned against me and on several times I called on him to sit on the table with me in vain,” he said.

“I cannot express how happy I am now that he has finally decided that we should work as one man. Actually he is the one who approached me, at a time when I thought we will never unite again.”

Tsatsanyane and Monare were once a mighty force that drove businessman Makhoabe Mohaleroe and his son Pule from the directorship of LPMTC.

Pule withdrew from the case and his father Mohaleroe lost all cases against Tsatsanyane and Monare.

The last nail on his “coffin” was a document found by Tsatsanane at the Maseru Centeral Prison’s archives showing that Mohaleroe was jailed in the 1980s for fraud.

Tsatsanyane and Monare attached to their court papers their new discovery and the court ruled that in terms of Companies Act Mohaleroe could not be a director of any company.

After driving Mohaleroe out of the company, Tsatsanyane and Monare turned against each other in their fight over control of the LPMTC.

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