A legal bid by local Chinese businessman Shen Yao for reversal of forfeiture of his company shares by a fellow shareholder without proper notices being issued in terms of the company’s memorandum of incorporation has been granted by the High Court of Lesotho.
Nov. 18, 2022
3 min read
M6 million PostBank saga ends
Former PostBank's Gredit Msanager, Themba Sopeng
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Papers before the court show that Shen is an aggrieved shareholder of Meriting Holdings who was ousted, and his shares forfeited – with his main concern being the proprietary of the forfeiture.
Shen argued that the meetings purportedly held to remove him as a shareholder in Meriti Holdings were without notices being issued to him – and wanted the court to find them irregular and resolutions passed consequent thereto unlawful and without effect.
The court has ordered that Shen be given back the 51 percent of the company shares that he was swindled of, and be reinstated as the director.
The court also ordered the immediate removal of the current director, Teboho Mothebesoane who had fraudulently acquired Shen’s shares.
Mothebesoane is cited as the second respondent in the case.
Shen also stated in his application that Mothebesoane should not in any way be in contact with the company, demanding back his shares and the removal of Mothebesoane as a shareholder.
In an interview, Advocate Sekoala Makara who represented the 1st respondent, Meriting Holdings, and Mothebesoane said: “This decision took me by surprise because the judge has no power to remove a director of a company in the manner done.”
He said Shen also requested that the M6million misappropriated from Meriting Holdings account held at the Lesotho PostBank be refunded by the guilty party.
The illegal transaction sucked into the saga the bank’s Chief of Credit at the time, Themba Sopeng, who was suspended for the alleged fraud.
Evidence shows that the M6million was on January 23, 2019, transferred from the Meriti Holdings’ account at the Lesotho PostBank into another account held at the First National Bank (FNB) Lesotho, belonging to Teboho Construction.
This, after Meriting Holdings had just submitted a new shareholding structure to the Post Bank and changed signatories for its account.
The money was withdrawn from the FNB account within two hours of its deposit.
Addressing a press conference after Sopeng’s suspension, Lesotho PostBank’s Managing Director, Molefi Leqhaoe said since the matter involved theft and corruption, it was reported to both the police and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Offence (DCEO).
Lesotho PostBank is the only wholly Basotho-owned bank, that the government, through the small business development ministry, has been using in a bid to empower aspiring Basotho entrepreneurs.
Leqhaoe has always urged small businesses to open accounts with the bank in order to access much-needed business loans at reasonably low-interest rates.
“Disciplinary action is also going to be taken against every member of staff involved in the scam,” Leqhaoe said.
He further showed that five other employees of the bank believed to be involved in the fraud were also suspended.
Lesotho PostBank Managing Director, Molefi Leqhaoe
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Although Sopeng was reluctant to comment on the merits of the case and the judgment after Justice Moroke Mokhesi handed down judgment, he, however, expressed his delight in the fact that justice had finally been served.
He was also quick to note that his suspension from the bank left him in sire dire straits.
He said he was blacklisted by most local companies and could not secure employment.
“Many companies refused to hire me,” he said.
Sopeng further told this paper that he was not happy at all to have lost his job amid the allegations levelled against him, adding that was a difficult time for him and his family.
The case was heard by the late Justice Lebohang Molete in April 2019 but was postponed because Meriting Holdings’ lawyer argued that there was a dispute of fact before the court.
Justice Molete died in 2020.
The case was on numerous occasions postponed with the respondents seeking orders subpoenaing certain individuals to appear in court to clear the apparent dispute of fact.
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