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Landboard Finally Removes Gigantic Illegal Fence

MPHO MOKWAPE
The Tlokweng Land board will today remove a fence that was erected by the Matlapeng family and the World Community Counseling Centre (WCC) in a hotly contested piece of land in the Metlhabeng area after a successful court battle.

The removal of the illegal fence comes after the Land Board won its case in June this year following an urgent application for contempt of court.

They accused the church and the Matlapeng family – which claims rights over the land – of not complying with a September 2010 Land Tribunal order that the disputed piece of land should not be developed except by government.

Speaking with The Monitor, Land Board Secretary, Roselyn Kedimotse, said the fence would be removed today as initially ordered by the Land Tribunal in a court order in June this year. She confirmed that they did not rush to remove the fence after the Tribunal court order as the family decided to pursue legal options.

“The family failed to comply with the court order and decided to made an application at the Tribunal for the order to be made null and void of which they failed and they were given 14 days to remove the fence”, she said.

Kedimotse said after the 14 days elapsed, the family applied to the High Court for a stay of execution, which meant they wanted the court order to temporarily be suspend, however, the case was dismissed last week Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the two square kilometre plot in Metlhabeng ward has been at the centre of heated differences between the Land Board and the family for more than 20 years, which were heightened

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by the family leasing part of the plot to the World Community Counselling Centre (WCCC). The family also fenced the plot, resulting in some residents who were allocated plots there by the Land Board, finding themselves locked in with the church.

While the Matlapeng family argues that the land rightfully belongs to them, as it was previously a farm field, the Land Board disputes this.  The land authority won an order at the Land Tribunal in June, which ordered the Matlapeng family to remove the fence by July 21.

According to the order, the family will also be fined P500 only if they failed to remove the fence within the stipulated time and that they shall bear the cost if the Land Board is forced to remove the fence.

The Land Board initially cited the WCCC as a respondent in the matter; the Tribunal removed it from proceedings saying the matter was rightfully between the Board and the Matlapeng family.

While the Matlapeng family argues that the land rightfully belongs to it, as it was previously a farm field, the Land Board disputes the assertion and reportedly allocated plots on the land, resulting in some residents finding themselves fenced in. The long-standing dispute going back as far as 1990 and is around the correct extent and acquisition of the late Pilanyane Matlapeng’s field situated at the Metlhabeng ward in Tlokweng.



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