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New twist in Tlokweng land row

Go time: Contractors engaged by the Tlokweng Land Board forcibly remove the controversial fence PIC: KEBOFHE MATHE
The 20-year dispute between the Tlokweng Land Board and the Matlapeng family over a piece of land in the village, took a new turn on Monday when the land authority removed a fence around the property.

The fence’s removal was in line with a June Land Tribunal decision that found that the family had illegally erected the fence, effectively kraaling several homes within the two square kilometre piece of land.

The land, located in Metlhabeng ward, has witnessed topsy-turvy legal battles between the Land Board and the family, which were heightened when the family leased part of the area to the World Community Counselling Centre.

The family also fenced the plot resulting in some residents, who were allocated plots there by the Land Board, finding themselves locked within the church.

Empowered by the Land Tribunal’s judgement, the Land Board on Monday sent yellow monsters to take down the fence.

A Mmegi news crew on the scene, witnessed land authority hard at work removing structures supporting the fence and placing them to the side.

Land Board officials on the site told Mmegi that some church members had attempted to intimidate them and block the removal of the fence.

“We met a couple of church members who initially wanted to intimidate us and our team but after the Pastor’s intervention, they backed off and we managed

to continue with our work”, said one official, adding that, “We had to be considerate when removing the fence so that the family can use it again if they wish to, instead of tearing everything down”.

As the Mmegi photographer snapped the removal of the fence, church officials carrying a video and still camera were also recording the action and capturing everyone who arrived on the site.

The latest developments come after the Matlapeng family failed to comply with a July 21 Land Tribunal deadline to remove the fence or incur both the costs of removal as well as a fine of P500.

The Matlapeng family argues that the land rightfully belongs to them, as it was previously a farm field, while the Land Board disputes this.

A previous ruling had directed that no developments, except those by government, take place on the plot, as the matter continues.

The removal of the fence is only part of a broader legal battle, which dates back to 1990 and centres on the correct extent and acquisition of the late Pilanyane Matlapeng’s field situated in Metlhabeng ward.




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