By Nat Molomo
MASERU — The battle for the control of the Private Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL) took a fresh twist this week after a faction that lost control of the association two weeks ago applied for a stay of execution of the judgment. The faction, led by ‘Maposholi Mosothoane, which is locked in a fierce power struggle with another group led by businessman Osman Moosa, lost its bid to control the foundation on February 13 after High Court judge Justice Semapo Peete dismissed its application with costs.
In their application for a stay of execution of judgment pending finalisation of their appeal, attorney Qhalehang Letsika told the High Court on Tuesday that the applicant had already noted an appeal against Justice Peete’s judgment. Letsika said the net effect of the February 13 judgment “is that applicant has been ordered to be in the hands of the old executive committee” led by Moosa. “It is common cause that most members are disgruntled by the fact that a person whose moral turpitude is in question will be leading them.
“There is likely to be confusion,” he said. Moosa was in August 2011 convicted on 51 counts of fraud and tax evasion. In his court papers Letsika said “the respondents’ return to office will further alienate members and cause harm”. “In any event there is no doubt that the Court of Appeal will hear the appeal in just about a month from now,” he said. “Finally there is the question of the fact that Mr Moosa, a fraudster, will create problems of image to the detriment of the organisation.”
Letsika argued that “there are high prospects of success in that the grounds relied upon are sound in law”. “There are high prospects that the Court of Appeal will come to a different conclusion from that of the honourable court on the same facts,” he said. “In the premises we submit that the application for stay of execution ought to be granted with costs.” Advocate ‘Manthatisi Khesuoe, for the respondents, said Mosothoane had lodged the application in her personal and individual capacity which she said is not proper adding there was no resolution by the PSFL board authorising lodgment of these proceedings.
“It goes without saying that she (Mosothoane) is not the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho, she is the only representative of Boliba Multi-Purpose, which is a member of PSFL” Advocate Khesuoe submitted. “She cannot therefore be prejudiced in any way by the execution of judgment of this honourable court. She is just postponing the evil day, especially because during her reign, the funds of the PSFL were mercilessly misappropriated,” she said. Khesuoe charged that even after Justice Mahase delivered her judgment on August 30, 2012, Mosothoane still went on to withdraw monies unlawfully.
She said the issue of Moosa’s tax evasion was never raised at the PSFL annual general meeting held towards the end of November 2011. “In the annual general meeting there had never been any motion of vote of no confidence against Mr Moosa associated to his credibility in so far as tax evasion was concerned,” she submitted. Khesuoue argued that since the matter was in the public domain for more than six months, one could assume that every member of PSFL was aware of it. “This implies that Mrs Mosothoane is having a personal issue with Mr Moosa. If not Boliba MultiPurpose could have raised the motion of vote of no confidence against Mr Moosa in the AGM, but it had (sic) never done so,” she said.
“On the basis of the foregoing arguments, it is humbly submitted that this application be dismissed with costs on attorney and client scale to be borne by Mrs Mosothoane herself and or by Boliba Multi-purpose”. Judgment has been reserved.