Kweneng Land Board chairperson has been accused of lying and breaking COVID-19 protocols and saying he only attended important matters in office while in isolation.
Kgang Ontlametse Kgang representing the Kweneng Land Board was accused of lying, using the virus and isolation after the board failed to respond to Court documents filed by seven residents who are clashing with the board over allocation of plots. According to the applicants who are individuals and enterprises said all are lies contained in the chairperson’s utterances about their failure to respond to Court papers on time because due to being in quarantine for COVID-19 detected at their offices.
In the notice of opposition by the applicants against the Board being given a chance to file papers out of time, the applicants reckoned that all the reasons advanced are lies coming out of the chairperson. According to one of the applicants, Botho Letamora, she denied that the Board and its legal department were in isolation at the time of service of the application. “In fact to my knowledge, the isolation and quarantine of some of the board members took place last year December 2020. The Board has been sitting and the chairperson has been reporting for duty January and February 2021 and also embarking on official trips. All this information I obtained from the officer who has been at work for the said being Mooketsi Majaga employed as a chief technical assistant,” she said.
She challenged the chairperson to produce his official motor log book to prove that indeed he made official trips during the period in question and also that he shows that he had not made any claims for imprest under the period.
Letamora further challenged the chairperson to also say on oath that he had not attended physically any board business noting that as the deponent he had said that he tested for COVID-19 during that period then he should produce the results of his tests.
“The delay was willful and the deponent is seeking to mislead the Court based on untruths. It is denied that the board has made out a case for condonation, the matter does not have prospects of success. It is characterised by untruths in the reasons for the delay,” she noted.
However the chairperson insisted that the board and its legal team were in isolation due to confirmed COVID-19 cases, because they had tested positive.
He explained that after isolation he was obligated to test again to ensure that he did not carry the virus and that the results took a further four days to be delivered to them. “During the period that the team was in isolation we had no access to the office and could therefore not immediately instruct our attorney of record on any matters including, by the time we received the second negative results and we were authorised to go back to work by the health officials,” he said.
Kgang stated that as the chairperson he maintains that he was under isolation and that if he breached the isolation rules to embark on any official duty, it was on pressing matters that could not be delayed, as he was a secondary contact.
He said he did not embark on any official trips even assuming that he was available he relied a lot on the advice of the legal department who were at the time in isolation. “I was not embarking on trips. I further state that we have made an attempt to look for the alleged log book unfortunately we have not been able to locate it and we shall keep looking for the same and avail it to the Court once we have located it,” he said.
He denied that the delay was willful and that he is not intentionally misleading the Court on any untruth. But the board still maintained that the matter is of national interest and that it must be dealt with carefully. It requires to be investigated thoroughly to avoid unscrupulous individuals from abusing office, he noted.
Ndadi Law Firm represents the applicants while Monthe Marumo and Company represent the board.