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Kweneng Board, employees clash

MPHO MOKWAPE
Kweneng Land Board is butting heads with employees of the Ministry of Lands, Water and Sanitation Services over various ploughing fields in their possession.

The nine employees accuse the board of failing to subdivide and allocate their ploughing fields despite the approval of their application to that effect in 2019.

According to their Court application, the nine employees are holders of ploughing field land rights in the areas of Nkoyaphiri Mogoditshane, Gabane, Rakola, Diphiring and Gaphatshwa lands. For an example, in Reuben Thakadu’s founding affidavit as one of the employees seeking the help of the Court, they duly applied to the Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board to sub-divide their respective ploughing fields as per the existing policy and the subdivisions, which were consequently approved by the Board. “Notwithstanding the approvals which happened in the last quarter of 2019, the Land Board has not implemented or given effect to the resolution thus the current court application,” he said.

Thakadu explained that the Kweneng Land Board’s blatant refusal to give effect to Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board’s resolution to sub-divide their plots was without any legal merit or justification.

He argued that the refusal is prejudicial to them as their intended land use has been put to a halt pending performance on the side of the Board. “We took the decision to seek legal help because we have been advised by our attorneys, which advice we believe to be true that we have a legitimate expectation that the resolutions on the letters ought to have been given effect to,” he said. The Ministry employees are therefore demanding that the Kweneng Land Board honor the resolutions passed by the Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board to subdivide and allocate the plots in the ploughing fields they own.

Through their attorney, Uyapo Ndadi they want the Court

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to order and direct the Kweneng Land Board to implement its resolutions dated variously as per each employee’s letter of 2019 to subdivide and allocate of a ploughing field in a manner that has been approved and contained in the letters in their possession. “This is an application for orders directing the Board to implement its various resolutions touching on the subdivision and allocation of ploughing fields consistent with their letters,” read their papers. However, the Kweneng Land Board has reportedly halted many of the activities at Mogoditshane Sub-Land after the officers went under probe and an audit on the matter was released in September 2020.  According to the audit report into the Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board, it exposed flagrant disregard for land procedures.

“Particularly, it raises red flags on the acquisition of ploughing fields, sub-division of fields and compensation thereof, as well as transfer of residential plots that were offered as compensation,” reads the audit.  At that time, the principal public relations officer, Ministry of Land Management Water and Sanitation Services Alice Mmolawa said the audit was followed by a detailed investigation whose report they were currently studying.

Mmolawa also said the audit noted possible irregularities at Mogoditshane Sub-Land Board pertaining to the implementation of the compensation in-kind guidelines.

The audit noted that land administration processes and procedures were not followed when dealing with some issues of land acquisition, subdivision of plots and compensation in-kind of plots under investigation.

The audit was reportedly to have been instituted by Kweneng Land Board and the permanent secretary then appointed an investigation team to carry out a detailed investigation into the audit report.



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