MASERU – The circus at private radio station People’s Choice FM (PC FM) continued last week with the station’s manager Kholu Qhobela insisting she is not going anywhere.
Qhobela was fired from her post on February 1 by the station’s self-styled chairman Mohau Thakaso for “allegedly frustrating the company’s operations and occupying our offices illegally”.
But in a no-holds barred interview with the Sunday Express last week, Qhobela fired back telling Thakaso he had no power to either suspend or fire her.
““He (Thakaso) does not have the power to either suspend or fire me,” Qhobela said.
“I report to Habbard Monaheng, he is the chairman of the board of directors that I recognise.
“As for Thakaso I don’t know where he gets his title (of chairman of the board) from.”
She insisted that she was not answerable to Thakaso.
“He is a director and shareholder at PC FM but the operational structure of the company does not give him any power over me,” Qhobela said.
Qhobela and several other directors are locked in a fierce long-running battle for the control of the radio station with Thakaso.
Thakaso says he is the rightful chairman of the radio station’s board, a claim disputed by Qhobela and other directors.
Thakaso last month “fired” Qhobela.
In his letter of dismissal, Thakaso accused Qhobela of “refusing to honour the suspension which was handed down to you by the People’s Choice Broadcasting Studio board of directors”.
The letter, which was seen by the Sunday Express, says Qhobela was being fired for persistently holding herself “in public as the company’s station manager despite your suspension”.
She was also accused of “making damaging statements in public about the company’s board members (as well as) ignoring all forms of communication including an invitation to appear before the People’s Choice Broadcasting (Pty) Ltd authorities” for disciplinary action”.
Qhobela however insists Thakaso is talking nonsense.
“I replied to his suspension letter (last year) telling him he has no powers whatsoever over me,” she said.
Thakaso claims to have applied for the PC FM licence together with three directors, Teboho Mothae, Motlatsi Majara and Mathibeli Moleko in 1998.
He says since then he has always been the chairman of the board and his position has never been challenged.
He has fought several court battles with the board after some members allegedly sold the company shares illegally.
The shares were allegedly bought by some members of the staff and two men, Thabo Mosala and Hubbard Monaheng.
He says the two later teamed up with Majara and formed a board which Thakaso says is illegal.
Majara last month said he was stepping down as managing director at PC FM insisting he was fed up with the infighting.
The case to determine who is the rightful owner of the radio station is pending in the High Court.
Thakaso has also pressed fraud charges against Majara, Qhobela and other prominent staff members alleging that they fraudulently acquired shares in the company.
Thakaso accuses Majara and Qhobela of fraudulently using the company’s money to buy shares in the firm.
This case is also pending in the magistrate’s court.