New storm at Tsepong

New storm at Tsepong

MASERU

A Tsepong (Pty) Ltd meeting to discuss financials for the past three years became chaotic after three board members walked out in protest.

The walk-out by the three directors represents a new low in what has been a tumultuous period for the company that manages Queen Mamohato Memorial Hospital (QQMH), Lesotho’s biggest and only referral hospital.

Tsepong wanted the financial signed by all directors in order to draw up budgets and comply with statutory regulations.

thepost has been told that the meeting on July 6 had barely started when one of directors queried its legality. The director is alleged to have asked why the board was meeting when Tsepong had been deregistered.

Tsepong was deregistered by the Ministry of Trade a couple of months ago after it failed to submit documents for a mandatory re-registration. The documents could not be submitted on time because one director failed to submit his details. Since then the company has been battling to be reinstated on the registry amid concerns in some quarters that the government is entrusting the management of its biggest health asset to an unregistered entity.

thepost understand the director asked if it would not be illegal for the directors to go ahead with a board meeting of an unregistered company.

“He asked if the decisions will be binding and the chairperson (May Ada Moteane) referred the question to the board secretary,” explained a source who preferred to remain anonymous because he feared a backlash from Netcare, which controls 40 percent Tsepong and is the target from other shareholders.

“The secretary said they could always ratify the decisions when the reregistration is done”.

The source said after that Thuso Green of D10, Dr Chale Mojo who represents Excel Health and Dr Lehlohonolo Mosotho who represents Afri’nnai Health walked out of the meeting.

The meeting however proceeded without the three after one of the Netcare’s representatives on the board said those remaining could still constitute a quorum.

The meeting then went ahead with Moteane, the chairperson who represents Women Investment Company (WIC) as well as Netcare’s three proxies: Richard Friedland, Karen Prins and Chris Smith.

Afri’nnai Health and Excel Health own 20 percent each in Tsepong while D10 controls 10 percent.

WIC has 10 percent and is said to be the only local partner that has benefited from the contracts at the hospital.

D10, Afri’nnai Health and Excel Health have accused Netcare of taking their contracts and parcelling them out to companies in which it has interest. Afri’nnai Health and Excel Health were to provide doctors to QMMH and its three filter clinics but that has not happened.

D10 was supposed to provide catering and landscaping services but was allegedly nudged out.

 

 

 

Other accusations levelled against Netcare have to do with the way the health conglomerate is managing finances and allegedly paying itself without board approval.

There have also been allegations of financial misappropriation and conflict of interest. thepost has not independently verified these allegations.

The accusations have triggered two legal suits, one from a director who wants Tsepong placed judicial management and another from a director who wants the company’s books opened to a forensic audit. Netcare has strongly opposed both cases which are still pending in the Commercial court.

Meanwhile, the government has entered the fray by appointing a renowned conflict resolution expert to mediate between the warring Tsepong shareholders.

Tefo Raditapole, who is described as an accomplished legal policy advisor and dispute resolution specialist, met shareholders this week for a preliminary meeting.  Sessions will start on Friday. Tsepong requested a mediator after a heated meeting where Finance Minister ‘Mamphono Khakhetla told the shareholder to put their house in order or risk losing the contract to manage the hospital.

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