MASERU — The Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) has set up a commission of inquiry to investigate a case of forgery against two of its council members.
The two are said to be part of members that want to oust chairman Osman Moosa after he was convicted of tax evasion.
The foundation suspects that ’Mamakamane Makamane and Leonia Mosothoane either instigated forgery or forged signatures of people who petitioned Moosa to hold a meeting to discuss his tax evasion conviction.
The PSFL members had petitioned Moosa to call a meeting last month where, amongst others, the issue of his tax evasion would be discussed and a call for his ouster made.
Chairperson of the commission set up by the PSFL, General Sentle, confirmed that he was investigating a case of forgery against Makamane and Mosothoane.
Sentle has a document from 10 associations that distanced themselves from the petition saying they had never met to sign it.
Tsohang Makaota’s chairperson, Pitso Khaile and secretary, ’Mapallo Mapitse, have signed a document denying any knowledge of the petition.
Also Mafenetha Tlala’s chairperson and secretary, ’Mamaleshoane Mojaki and ’Malebohang Ramontsoe, have said they never signed the petition.
Maseru Block Famers’ chairperson and secretary, Jerry Foulo and Lephoto Taoana, have also denied signing the document.
“We are compiling our report which will be available to the foundation’s members,” Sentle said.
Sentle said they do not have any problem with Moosa being their chairman despite his conviction for tax evasion.
“The issue of his problems with revenue authority is his baby and it has nothing to do with his position in the foundation,” he said.
“Those who want him removed should follow proper channels and they will be within their democratic rights to do so.”
Moosa, his son and business partner Shameen Moosa and their company Selkol 1983 (Pty) Ltd were convicted of 198 counts of tax evasion in August last year.
The High Court ordered the company and its directors to pay a total of M6.1 million in fines and taxes owed to the Lesotho Revenue Authority (LRA).
High Court judge, Justice ’Maseforo Mahase sentenced Osman Moosa to six years imprisonment or pay a fine of M500 000 for 51 counts.
He was also sentenced to a further six years in jail which was suspended for five years on condition that he shall not be convicted of fraud involving taxation or contravening the Prevention of Corruption and Economic Offences Act.
His son Shameen was ordered to pay a fine of M100 000 or three years in jail for 90 counts of tax evasion while the company, Selkol 1983 (Pty) Ltd was ordered to pay a fine of M1.5 million for 57 counts.
Selkol 1983 (Pty) Ltd will also pay M4 million to the LRA.
The Moosas and Selkol 1983 (Pty) Ltd faced 316 charges in the High Court and were convicted on 198 of them while the company pleaded guilty to 57 counts.
The sentences followed a plea bargaining agreement entered into between the defence counsel, Barry Roux SC, and the crown counsel, Guido Penzhorn SC.
It was against this background that the council members wanted Moosa to step down from the chairmanship and they petitioned him to call a meeting last month.
The foundation suspects that Makamane and Mosothoane forged signatures of representatives of Ipopeng Bo-’M`e Multipurpose Association, Maseru Block Farmers Association, Mafenetha Tlala Multipurpose Association, Tsohang Makaota and several others.
Makamane told this paper that she did not forge any signatures.
“I challenge anybody who alleges that I, ’Mamakamane, committed any forgery to produce evidence,” Makamane said.
Efforts to contact Mosothoane were not successful as she was said to have been out of the country.
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