Fight over company turns nasty

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MASERU — The fight for the control of a Maseru transport company has taken a new twist.

Two months after Moeketsi “Chaltin” Tsatsanyane elbowed out a rival director, the tables have been turned against him.

Tsatsanyane was locked in a mortal fight against Lesotho Public Motor Transport Company (LPMTC) director, Makhoabe Mohaleroe.

On his side in the fight for the control of the company then was a trustee, Ishmael Monare.

Now comrade has turned against comrade in a fresh fight for the control of the company.

Monare last Tuesday filed an application at the High Court to bar Tsatsanyane from attending board meetings.

He also wants the court to stop Tsatsanyane from demanding or receiving rentals from tenants operating from the company’s property near the Maseru main bus stop.

The LPMTC owns a property housing a filling station, supermarket and six other businesses.

The court is also being asked to prohibit Tsatsanyane from “interfering with (the LPMTC)’s business files”.

It has also been asked to restrict Tsatsanyane from transacting sub-lease agreements or investment ventures in respect of the LPMTC premises.

The High Court application came two weeks after Monare filed another application to force the registrar-general to register the Lesotho Bus and Taxi Owners Association (LBTOA) executive committee which is backing him in the power struggle.

Monare told the court that he is “a better fitted person to collect rentals from our tenants and have been doing same since dethronement of Mr Makhoabe Mohaleroe”.

“The recent development which is unwarranted is the interference of (Tsatsanyane) in the collection of rentals which appears to be a cancer to the business interests of the applicants,” says Monare in his founding affidavit.

“On the 14th May 2010, (Tsatsanyane) took the receipt book from my office and collected rental of M5 600 and issued a receipt to Joshua Self without my permission,” he writes.

Monare says the LPMTC does not have a tenant called Joshua Self but instead has Isaac Josephs “in occupation of the place simulated to be rented by one Joshua Self for reasons better known to (Tsatsanyane)”.

Monare says Tsatsanyane, “in an effort to cover up certain misgivings or qualms in the receipt book he unprocedurally tempered with, he made a certain minute in the receipt book dated 14th July 2010”.

Monare also says Tsatsanyane was on a “mission of luring people or investors to take control of the premises and we censured him harshly as he has no authority to do so”.

“At the wake of July 2010 respondent approached me in an effort to make me accede to an investment offer he already concluded with certain Indians,” says Monare in the affidavit.

“I told him that I am only a trustee but if his intentions are legitimate he must consult the owners of the place . . . and explain to them the position of the development offer of Indians and terms of reference thereof.

“I aver that despite several persuasions at his instance to yield to Indians’ 3.5 million offer I refused and he started developing a hostile attitude towards me,” Monare says.

Monare says Tsatsanyane did “everything possible” to forestall the registration of a new executive committee of the LBTOA “as he suspected that they would not co-operate with him in the investments transactions he is already into with the Indians”.

Monare says his lawyer facilitated a meeting between him and Tsatsanyane where members Khotso Lebakeng and Polao Nkemele were present and Tsatsanyane “reaffirmed his unwavering determination” of proceeding in the development of the LPMTC’s business site “with the Indians who are investing 3.5 million”.

“At our refusal to the Indians offer he left the proceedings midstream as he said he was already having an appointment with certain other people to fix his truck and I could not proffer any conclusion at variance with my initial position of referring him to the owners of the place in issue.”

Asked to comment, Tsatsanyane dismissed Monare’s allegations as baseless and untrue.

Tsatsanyane admitted that he had sourced some Indian nationals who were prepared to invest M3.5 million in the development of the property.

He however said there had never been any official discussion about it in the office.

“We talked about it with Ntate Monare in a private conversation and I mentioned it in passing,” he said.

“When Ntate Monare mentioned it officially in one of the meetings we were told that we should wait until further notice.”

Tsatsanyane said the meetings Monare referred to in his affidavit were not properly organised.

“The first meeting was an emergency meeting and I attended it but I already had an appointment and so when the time for my appointment approached I excused myself and left,” he said.

Tsatsanyane has not yet filed his replying affidavit.

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