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A squatter’s ordeal

Her Omang is written xx/xx/xx, which suggests that her exact date of birth is not known. But what she knows for sure is that Mojadife is home. The settlement is about 20km from Mogobane, off the main (Mogobane-Ntlhantlhe) road on the right. Masegonyana Moseki, the daughter of a man who the village was named after is one of the people who may face eviction. She shared her story with Mmegi Staff Writer TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE

Mojadife is a small place, whose inhabitants are just normal villagers, struggling daily struggles of many Batswana. Even their house plans are advanced like people who know what they are doing. Of course like any other place, it has people who may be considered poor.

Putting on a German print and headscarf, Moseki narrates how their parents moved from Setobe to Mojadife while others preferred to stay at Lenkwane.

Moseki’s homestead has a two bed-roomed house and one mud hut. She relies on her granddaughter to read a note for her when she comes from school. Her granddaughter is doing Standard Seven at Mojadife Primary School.

“If I had transport I could have gone to a kgotla meeting at Lenkwane to hear exactly what is happening.

This village is named after my father, Mojadife, and that’s his grave that is covered there (pointing to a shade next to the two bed-roomed house).

The reason why I am not using my father’s surname is because I was married and my husband passed on. As a last born I had to stay in my parents yard,” said Moseki.

Though Moseki does not read or write, she remembers the history of the two settlements very well and disputes between them and the Malete Land Board.

Moseki says it will be sad for the entire settlement if people’s houses would be demolished.

“We are not many in this settlement and

we know each other very well. It’s us and our children who have grandchildren now. There is no one who could claim that we have residential plots somewhere else apart from Mojadife or Lenkwane. Of course we are Balete but we don’t have residential plots in Ramotswa or Mogobane. Some of our parents died here and we buried them here. We have more than 35 years living here and the village has not expanded,” she said.

Moseki said she has Land Board papers for the plot and according to an explanation she was given, the plot was allocated to them.

Moseki said most of people who had built houses in that area are old people who are over 50 years and they do not have money to go and build somewhere else.

What hurts Moseki the most is that the residents of the two settlements had long pleaded with different Ministers for their areas to be recognised as settlements.

“We had support from the Bamalete Tribal Administration and Mogobane residents. Our children have grown up, but the Land Board is refusing to allocate plots to them. I understand the Land Board says it had only allocated 15 people and the issue is why them and not others. We have electricity, water, primary school and teachers houses and three shops,” Moseki added.

Other residents shared the same painful sentiments as Moseki.




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