By Nat Molomo
MASERU — Convicted businessman Osman Moosa has come out guns blazing against her nemesis ’Maposholi Mosothoane arguing she does not have the authority to represent the business foundation. In his answering affidavit, Moosa vehemently denies claims by Mosothoane that she was ever the chairperson of the Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho (PSFL).
“I have always been the president of the PSFL. Mrs Mosothoane does not therefore have the necessary authority to represent (the foundation) because by her own admission, she is not the chairperson,” Moosa says. He also argues that the founding affidavit “has not filed the applicant (PSFL)’s resolution authorising her to institute these proceedings before this honourable court”. “The absence of authority to that effect renders the matter defective and subject to being dismissed on this point alone,” Moosa says.
He also argues that the High Court had on February 13 merely “reinstated the lawfully constituted board of the PSFL of which I am president”. “It was correct for the court to do because the meeting of the 24th of May, 2012, which purported to oust the existing board, was not held in terms of clause 6.5 of the PSFL constitution,” he says. “The meeting was declared invalid by the judgment of Mahase J on the 30th of August, 2012.” On the question of his conviction, Moosa says he was convicted “based on a plea bargain entered into by myself and the crown, which plea bargain was done as a business decision and agreed with the parties thereto”.
“I have been to-date been running my various business affairs and thereto not precluded by the conviction,” he says. “It is only left with Ms ‘Maposholi Mosothoane to say how after conviction one is precluded from governing any business lest the said crime is sanctioned by the laws of this country and precludes one from serving anywhere else so appointed especially upon lapse of having served sentence.” He adds: “I served my sentence as brought about by the plea bargain and whatever post I undertake, is not sanctioned by law following my service of sentence.” Moosa says Mosothoane has “misconceived her cause in this regard (of the conviction) and indeed misrepresented to this honourable court”.
Moosa also denies that there are prospects of success in the Court of Appeal. He says this is because Mosothoane and “her cohorts” held a meeting on May 24, 2012 in contradiction with the provisions of the original constitution of the PSFL”. That meeting, Moosa argues, was subsequently declared null and void by Justice Mahase on August 30 last year. But despite that judgment, Mosothoane and her group then proceeded to hold an annual general meeting on August 31, 2012. “The meeting proceeded as if the judgment of Justice Mahase never existed, wherein there was election of another executive committee,” he says.
“In the light of these circumstances I doubt that the Court of Appeal will reverse the judgment of this honourable court because by so doing it will be rubber-stamping acts of self-help and thereby encouraging acts of self-help within voluntary associations, and going against its own judgment which frowns upon acts of self-help,” he says. He argues Mosothoane and her group will not suffer any prejudice rather it is the PSFL and its members who will suffer prejudice because “there will be a vacuum in the association, and the business of the association will come to a standstill”.