Thakaso renews battle for PC FM



MASERU – A two-decade old legal battle for ownership of a popular radio which has been dormant for several years has been renewed afresh. Mahau “White Horse” Thakaso has been embroiled in a battle for ownership of People’s Choice FM, popularly known as PC FM for nearly 20 years. Despite being the majority shareholder at the radio station, Thakaso has been effectively side-lined from active participation or reaping any benefits thereof. The dispute over his shareholding traces back to 2006, and despite numerous court interventions, the situation remains unresolved. Last Thursday, Thakaso’s legal representative, Advocate Letuka Molati, wrote a letter to the management of PC FM, urging them to furnish his client with audited financial statements as part of their efforts to revive the case.

In the letter, Molati underscores to the radio station management their longstanding failure to distribute dividends to his client over the years, adding: “withholding dividends without legal justification is tantamount to theft.” He issues a stern warning, indicating that the station’s non-compliance and lack of response will prompt the pursuit of civil and criminal proceedings against the station director. Despite Thakaso’s persistent efforts to assert his rightful ownership and claim what is due to him, previous attempts have been fruitless. Notably, he achieved a victory in a 2009 civil application where he sought recognition as a lawful signatory to the radio station. In a notable legal victory, the late Judge ’Masehlophe Hlajoane ruled on December 16, 2009, instructing Standard Lesotho Bank to recognise lawful signatories of PC FM, as stipulated in a July 3, 2008 resolution, wherein Thakaso is listed as one of them. However, in a surprising turn of events, retired Justice Semapo Peete issued an interim order to stay the execution of Judge Hlajoane’s judgment a week later.

This interim order was returnable on December 29, 2009, but remains without a final order even 14 years later. The application also aimed to annul Justice Hlajoane’s judgment, which remains unresolved to this day. Thakaso expresses frustration over his attempts to bring the matter before Justice Peete for final resolution, stating, “There is still no final court order in that case.” In 2011, he was joined by Teboho Mothae in issuing civil summons against shareholders at the time. However, Thakaso contends that the case has been hindered as the file has gone missing from both the court’s registry and the judge’s records.

Their summons sought the court to recognise them as the rightful chairman and directors of the board of People’s Choice Broadcasting Studios PTY LTD, or, alternatively, as directors. They also requested that the court invalidates any transactions made on behalf of the company by individuals among the named defendants unless ratified by lawfully appointed directors. Furthermore, they sought a declaration that those claiming to be shareholders at the time had not been lawfully appointed by PC FM. Included in the application was an order directing the Registrar of Companies to make necessary changes to the membership of PC FM in accordance with the court’s decision. At the heart of the legal dispute lies the alleged fraudulent sale of shares, with Thakaso accusing those he is contesting against of perjury. He indicates that a criminal investigation has been initiated into the matter.

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