Mob stops multi-million property auction in Lesotho

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Maseru – It was a big show down at the Lesotho Sun Hotel when angry mob attacked an auctioneer, Advocate Steve Buys, stopping him from auctioning six multimillion buildings belonging to the local banking and insurance company MKM.

Advocate Steven Buys, on the floor, as the mob deals with him. Is Lesotho becoming a lawlessness country?
Advocate Steven Buys, on the floor, as the mob deals with him. Is Lesotho becoming a lawlessness country?

The attackers, some of them believed to be investors of the MKM at the time of its shutting down in November, 2007, bayed for Buys blood and forced him to hold their protest banner. He was rescued by an unidentified lawyer believed to be his colleague.

MKM Group, comprising of the MKM Marketing Ltd, Star Lion Group, Star Lion Insurance and Star Lion Gold Coin Investment, was shut down by the Central Bank of Lesotho on grounds it was operating business against the financial and insurance laws.

The Central Bank accused the MKM of being a pyramid scheme, which had its liabilities exceeding assets and thus sought its liquidation in Lesotho’s High Court.

The bank subsequently won an appeal in the Court of Appeal, leading to placing the business on hammer. However, today’s mob talking to a local radio station claimed that the auction was illegal because it was done against an interim court order issued on the 14th November, 2014.

On the same day the Commercial Court ordered the auction of the buildings owned by MKM managing director Simon Thebeeakhale to go ahead as scheduled by South Africa’s liquidators Chavonnes Cooper and Daan Roberts.

The commercial court directed that any offer at the auction should not be confirmed before a 14-day period from November 17 pending a notice seeking relief by the MKM to the liquidators.

The six buildings are located at the Kingsway and Pioneer Streets while the other three are situated at the Maseru Industrial Area.

The local media reported yesterday Thebeeakhale threatened to burn down the auction venue in protest against the activity.

It is estimated the MKM had about 400,000 customers countrywide who had invested lots of money in the company. Of the estimated M400 million, it was established only a M100 million could be accounted for, according to the Central Bank investigators PriceWaterhouse Coopers.

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