New twist to battle for radio station control


. . . as PCFM board invites Thakaso to a meeting


MASERU – In a dramatic twist in the battle for control of People’s Choice FM, the station’s board has reached out to Mohau “White Horse” Thakaso, extending an invitation for a meeting to address his request for the company’s financial statements. For close to two decades, Thakaso has been entangled in a protracted battle for ownership of PC FM, effectively side-lined from active participation or reaping its benefits, despite being the majority shareholder.

Recently, he instructed his legal representative, Advocate Letuka Molati, to demand audited financial statements from the current PC FM management. In his letter, Molati highlighted the management’s failure to remit dividends to Thakaso over the years, cautioning that withholding dividends without legal justification amounts to theft. He warned of potential civil and criminal proceedings against the station’s director for non-compliance and lack of response.

In response, the station’s board chairman, Hubbard Monaheng, conveyed a letter to Thakaso this week, scheduling a meeting at PC FM Studios on Friday, April 19, to discuss the request for documents. “You are cordially invited to an extraordinary board meeting on Friday, April 19, 2024, at 10 a.m. at the offices of People’s Choice Broadcasting Studios (PTY) Ltd. The agenda is the recent requests by Mr. Mohau Thakaso relating to company documents.”

The letter also indicates that any additional business arising will be addressed during the meeting. However, Thakaso’s invitation comes despite his exclusion from the company for the past 20 years. Furthermore, Thakaso claims that, despite being the majority shareholder, he has not received his rightful dividends. He alleges that the current management and shareholders have unlawfully taken control of his company and are enjoying its benefits at his expense.

Legal interventions have failed to resolve his challenges, as those he is opposing are fortified with an interim court order, effectively preventing his recognition as a signatory. In a case exemplifying justice delayed and denied, retired Judge Semapo Peete’s interim order, which stayed the judgment of his late colleague Judge ’Masehlophe Hlajoane, remains unresolved.

Judge Hlajoane’s judgment, which ordered Standard Lesotho Bank to acknowledge lawful signatories of PC FM as outlined in a July 3, 2008 resolution where Thakaso is listed as one of them, is still pending finalisation. However, 14 years later, Justice Peete’s interim order persists despite its return date of December 29, 2009. Thakaso expressed frustration to Public Eye, stating that his efforts to resolve the matter conclusively have been futile.

“There is still no final court order despite attempts to bring the matter to a hearing. I have, instead, been told that the file is missing both from the court’s registry and the judge’s file,” he said. Thakaso contends that this interim order has enabled undeserving individuals to maintain control of his company. One such individual, according to Thakaso, is Monaheng. Thakaso argues that while Monaheng identifies himself as the chairman, he (as a majority shareholder) was not involved in his appointment.

In an April 6, 2006 letter to Monaheng, Thakaso said he does not acknowledge Monaheng as the chairperson therefore Monaheng lacks the authority to extend invitations to anyone for the meeting. Thakaso’s letter refers to the March 27, 2006 letter from Monaheng, in which he invited Thakaso to an extraordinary board meeting.

“So far as I am concerned, I am a shareholder in that company, and I was never party to appointing you a chairman at any meeting; therefore, any action taken by you in relation to the company has no force or effect if you continue to hold yourself out as a chairperson; your acts would be fraudulent.”

Despite this, Monaheng persists in asserting himself as the chairman, evident in his authorship of this week’s letter to Thakaso inviting him to the extraordinary meeting scheduled for April 19. The ownership dispute remains unresolved, with none of the instituted court cases bringing closure to the matter.

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