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Tug-of-war rages at transport firm

Billy Ntaote


MASERU — A trio which claims to be the new directors of the M16 million Lesotho Public Motor Transport Company (LPMTC) accused Ishmael Monare and Moeketsi “Chaltin” Tsatsanyane of trying to block them from controlling the company.

Speaking to the Sunday Express on Friday, Motebele ‘Mabathoana and Moejane Mahlaha said the Lesotho Bus and Taxis Owners Association (LBTOA) elected a new executive committee at an Annual General Meeting (AGM) which now has control of the LPMTC on April 21.

According to a recent property evaluation, the company’s properties are valued at an estimated M16 million, including properties still under dispute in courts.

The LPMTC is also said to have an estimated annual revenue of about M500 000 from rentals.

Mahlaha said the company, whose directorship is under dispute between groups led by ’Mabathoana and the one led by Monare and Tsatsanyane, actually belongs to the association they were recently elected to lead.

The association’s AGM was held at Lesotho Durham Link premises.

“In the history of this association, AGMs were convened at certain members’ homes without being announced officially, but this was the first legally constituted AGM that attracted close to 50 members of the association,” said Mahlaha.

’Mabathoana added it should be known the same Tsatsanyane who is now alleging they are fraudulent directors had opened the association’s April AGM, but only left the conference when it became apparent to him that he would not be elected to the executive committee.

“We had given Tsatsanyane and Monare the courtesy to attend the meeting as they last renewed their membership three years ago,” ’Mabathoana alleged.

He said after the executive committee was elected, trustees were appointed as per the constitution of the association and then followed appointment of new directors of the LMPTC.

As ’Mabathoana and Mahlaha said their side of the story they were joined by one of the directors, Motsoahae Motsoahae.

They said following the appointment of the company’s new board members they filed Form 8 and 9 that show consent to act as company directors and change of directorship of company as per the Companies Act 2011.

The trio emphasised the company, LMPTC, is owned by the association and their presence at the company premises will continue as they ascended to the company’s board and association’s power following an AGM.

They adamantly said they would agree to vacate the company premises if the association’s trustees would challenge or take a decision that “we should be removed or an AGM is held”.

’Mabathoana said according to him, the operational trustees are Mahlaha and ’Matumelo Patosa.

“We are surprised that we have been in and out of court sued by people who do not have any legal standing over this company.

“They were not elected at the AGM earlier this year. They failed to renew their membership over the past three years, but what’s surprising is they have always presumed this company’s properties to be their own and not the association’s,” said ’Mabathoana.

About Advocate Tekane Maqakachane the trio said they were stunned upon realising Maqakachane “continues to claim he represents their company”.

They said Maqakachane even appeared in some documents of the company as having been an executive committee member sometime in July 2010.

“These are documents of the AGMs that we just said were in the past held in people’s bedrooms without members knowledge, especially this one of July 10, 2010 sent to Registrar of Societies,” ’Mabathoana emphasised.

’Mabathoana, backed by Mahlaha, said Maqakachane’s recent letter that appeared in the Sunday Express seeking legal action to be taken against ’Mabathoana and ten others following an incident at the High Court on September 9, was fuelled by Maqakachane’s personal interest in the LPMTC.

Mahlaha corroborated the accusations saying Maqakachane even misrepresented the actual incident of September 9 in his letter of September 13.

“We have since served Maqakachane with a letter that fired him as the company lawyer but we have realised he continued to represent the company under alleged instruction of the directors appointed by Tsatsanyane and Monare,” Mahlaha said.

The trio challenged Monare and Tsatsanyane to provide the courts with documentation and evidence that they are the legal directors of the LPMTC and should stop opening and seeking endless court orders to block them from exercising their rights in the company as the directors.

Motebele said they won a case before the magistrate court numbered CIV /224/2013 that was supposed to evict them from the company premised but Tsatsanyane and Monare lost the case and “even now we still collect rentals and use this offices”.

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