MASERU — Advocate Salemane Phafane KC, five directors and employees of People’s Choice FM are under investigation for perjury and obstructing the ends of justice. Police constable Seabata Tutuoane, a lawyer by training, accuses PC FM boss Kholu Qhobela, former managing director Motlatsi Majara, a director Hubbard Monaheng, presenter and disc jockey Liteboho Nkuebe and accountant ’Mamalang Molatseli of giving false information in court.
Tutuoane’s investigations sprang from a commercial case whose judgment was passed by Justice John Lyons on November 25, 2010. The case came after former People’s Choice Broadcasting Studios People’s Choice Broadcasting Studios, Mohau Thakaso, had sued the directors saying they had hijacked his company. Thakaso lost the case. Tutuoane argues that in the case Majara had averred that he was the managing director and shareholder of People’s Choice despite that he had sold his shares in February 2006.
Majara’s sale of his shares was acknowledged by the board and the relevant resolution signed by Monaheng as the board chairman, Qhobela as the secretary while Majara was a director. The investigations showed that Majara signed papers filed at the office of the registrar of companies showing that he had transferred his shares. The police allege Majara committed perjury when he deposed an affidavit as a shareholder and director after selling his shares. “Based on all this evidence, it is my reasonable suspicion and belief that Mr Motlatsi Majara unlawfully and intentionally committed both the offences of perjury and defeating or obstructing the ends or course of justice by making false and misleading statements in his answering affidavit,” reads the police report.
The report says Majara’s affidavit obstructed “the court of law from arriving at a justifiable decision because of these malicious, misleading, unfounded and unjust misrepresentations”. Advocate Phafane, who according to the investigations is “reported to be a member of the board of directors,” should have known that Majara was not a shareholder when he appeared for him in the case. Phafane is listed as a board member alongside Monaheng, Qhobela, Majara, Advocate Thabo Mpaka, ’Matšepo Ramakoae who is now Deputy Finance Minister, and Rethabile Pholo in a resolution made in October 2008 at the shareholders’ meeting.
“As a purported board member Advocate Salemane Phafane was aware that Mr Motlatsi Majara had sold his shares,” reads the report. The police say Phafane knew that Majara could not “swear in an answering affidavit and depose thereto saying that he is a shareholder and a director of the People’s Choice Broadcasting Studio”. “This leaves one with no other reasonable inference except a pure deception, injustice, misrepresentation and abuse of power by Advocate Salemane Phafane and company,” reads the police report.
Phafane is accused of commissioning Majara’s affidavit knowing that it was “based on pure lie and deception thus frustrating the court process”. The police also accuse Qhobela, Monaheng and a shareholder Khauta Mpeqa of testifying in court that Majara was a shareholder when they knew that he had sold his shares. “They both unlawfully and intentionally committed both the offences of perjury and obstruction, frustration and defeating the ends or course of justice by knowingly, maliciously, deceptively and unjustly deposing and submitting that Mr Motlatsi Majara is a shareholder,” reads the police report.
“They conspired with both Adv Salemane Phafane KC and Mr Motlatsi Majara to tell blatant lies before the courts with the sole intention of defeating and frustrating the course of justice.” Another suspect is Liteboho Nkuebe, who also deposed a supporting affidavit. ’Mamalang Molatseli is also accused of the same offences. Speaking to the Sunday Express last night, Phafane denied being a director of People’s Choice Broadcasting Studios.
“For a person to be a director of a company, he has to sign relevant papers that can be easily found at the office of the Registrar of Companies,” Phafane said. “If anyone finds my name in those papers bearing my signature, it would then mean that I am indeed a director. As for now, I say I am not a director,” he said. “My only connection with Kholu Qhobela, the other directors and the company staff is that I am their lawyer and have been representing them in court for years.”
Phafane said this case was first brought before the Director of Public Prosecutions “but was not prosecuted because the DPP felt that there was no case at all”. Phafane was referring to a case in which Thakaso had acquired a private prosecution certificate after the DPP Leaba Thatsane KC declined to prosecute his case. Thakaso lost the case on technical grounds after he included Phafane in the charges instead of sticking to his clients whom he had accused of illegally hijacking his company.
The court ruled that he should not charge Phafane because his private prosecution certificate did not include his name.
Tutuoane was not available on his phone while police spokesperson Thato Ramarikhoane said he was unable to confirm the existence of the investigations yesterday.