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‘Dirty’ war over Tsatsanyane estate

Mohloai Mpesi

Death threats and court challenges mark a vicious feud between Mokherane Tsatsanyane and his brother Moorosi over the estate of their deceased father.

Moeketsi Chaltin Tsatsanyane died on July 16 last year without a will leading to a feud between his two sons.

According to papers filed in the High Court of Lesotho on Wednesday this week, Moorosi made a WhatsApp voicenote in which he allegedly threatened to kill Mokherane, who is a Member of Parliament (MP) under the banner of the opposition Democratic Congress (DC).

“I am in possession of a voicenote made by the first respondent (Moorosi) on WhatsApp whereby he made threats against my life and against all people who are associated with me who are helping me in this application including family members who are supporting me and my counsel of record by stating that he will have to shoot us to finish this matter once and for all,” Mokherane said in a founding affidavit.

“In the same voice note, the first respondent also incited those he was addressing to ‘shoot’ me and those who stand in solidarity with me with guns,” he added.

The papers further show that the deceased owned majority shares in companies he had established such as Lesotho Public Motor Company and Multi-Knit Company and several immovable properties, among others.

Moorosi allegedly claims he is solely entitled to the whole estate.

Mokherane also told the court that after the death of his father, the family appointed him as the heir to the estate in September 2021 due to the fact that he is the firstborn male.

“After the death of my father, the first respondent started expelling everybody including me and the second applicant (‘Maphai Liteboho Tsatsanyane, their mother) from our home; in particular, he did this when the family had gathered together for a ritual ceremony of the second applicant’s mourning cloth removal,” he said.

“Moorosi refused to cooperate with anybody whatsoever, and in particular he started inundating us with many court cases whereby he sought to interdict me and the second applicant from interfering with the administration of the estate of my late father as the firstborn and heir to the said estate,” he continued.

He said he then filed a court application seeking an order declaring as the lawful heir of the estate of their deceased father as nominated by the Tsatsanyane family.

He also wanted “the so-called family meeting purportedly nominating Moorosi as the heir to be reviewed and set aside as irregular.

He wanted their mother (‘Maphai Liteboho Tsatsanyane) to be declared as the lawful widow of the late Tsatsanyane and the master of the high court to be ordered to appoint an executor of the estate of Tsatsanyane in terms of the law.

He said he was afraid that he and his mother were likely to suffer irreparable harm as Moorosi was likely to dissipate the whole estate, particularly as he had connived with the directors of the companies to try to exclude him from running such companies.

The court in June this year interdicted Moorosi from transferring the properties pending finalisation of the matter, Mokherane said.

He claimed Moorosi was refusing to comply with the interim order. 

The order reads: “The first respondent (Moorosi) is hereby interdicted from transferring or causing to be transferred leases No. 14301-403, 13283-1389, 13282-573, 12282-205, 13283-13283-1409, 13283-1253, 1323-1390 and 13282-1389 into his names pending finalisation of this application.

“The third (Land Administration Authority) and fourth (Master of the High Court) respondents be and are hereby interdicted from transferring or causing to be transferred the said leases and any other property belonging to the late Moeketsi Tsatsanyane pending finalisation hereof.”

The court also interdicted Moorosi from dissipating, transferring any shares or interfering in the management of any companies including the Lesotho Public Motor Company, Multi-Nit Company “or interfering in any manner whatsoever with the administration of the estate of the late Moeketsi Tsatsanyane pending finalisation of this application.”

Mokherane charges that Moorosi has been defying the court order by meddling in the affairs of the companies and demanding that rentals be paid to him and making threats to those who defy him.

He wants Moorosi to be prisoned for contempt of the court order and be interdicted and prohibited from threatening his life and of all the people associated with him “including but not limited to counsel of record”.           

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