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Judgement in Balete, govt 'war' due May 21

MPHO MOKWAPE
Farm Forest, known as Hill 9-KO
The Gaborone High Court is expected to deliver judgment on the Balete Kgale Farms ownership war against government on May 21.

The case was held virtually this morning before a bench of Justices Michael Motlhabi, Gabriel Komboni and Mokwadi Gabanagae, as the government pushed for the cancellation of a title deed covering a portion of Farm Forest, known as Hill 9-KO.

According to court documents, the disputed land in question dates back to 1925 when Balete bought a farm known as Forest Hill 9-KO farm for investment purposes. The tribe contributed to raising the 3,000 Sterling Pounds required to purchase the land from Aaron Siew. To this day, the title deed is in the name of Kgosikgolo for and on behalf of the tribe. 

The Land Board is suing Kgosi Mosadi Seboko and the Gamalete Development Trust for the title deeds to the land. The Land Board reportedly has investors ready to pump in billions in commercial developments on the land, while the tribe argues that it historically owns the farms and that Balete are also facing land shortages. Balete

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have also expressed frustration with the lack of compensation for the land, as proposed by the Land Board. 

The judges will deliver judgment after all documents have been filed, as stated in the order delivered following oral arguments.

According to the order, the applicants being Malete Land Board, have been ordered to file their supplementary heads of arguments before the end of business tomorrow while the respondents will file on March 30, 2021.

“Applicants shall file their supplementary heads of arguments on March 23, 2012 while the respondents shall file their reply to the supplementary heads so filed on March 30, 20121,” reads the order.

The Land Board, having failed to secure an amicable resolution to the issue, resorted to legal action and in the process sued Kgosikgolo Mosadi Seboko and the Gamalete Development Trust for the title deed of the farms.

Also cited as respondents are the Registrar of Deeds for Botswana and the Attorney General representing the former.



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