The Land Tribunal has found former Gaborone West-North (now Gaborone Bonnington North) MP, Robert Masitara guilty of illegally developing a piece of land outside his plot in Tlokweng.
Masitara uses the disputed plot as a residential and forensic investigation office. The developments included paving, two car ports; overhanging car shades, steel support structures and nets as well as the chains mounted on pillars to protect cars. The Land Tribunal president Sambi Kaisara, passed the guilty verdict on Masitara last Friday.
When delivering judgment, Kaisara explained to Masitara that Tlokweng has been declared a planning area in terms of the town and country-planning act (CAP 32:09). He said that in accordance with the Act, no development would be permitted in the area without planning permission having been granted.
“Masitara constructed the disputed developments without the necessary planning permission. For this reason, the court finds that the developments are illegal as they were constructed contrary to the provisions of the Town and Country Planning Act,” he ruled.
The Land Tribunal also ruled that the developments in question lie within a road reserve of a tarred public road passing in front of Masitara’s plot.
A road reserve is an area, which provides for facilities like pedestrian ways, as well as utility lines for water, power, telecommunications, sewer or storm water.
“No private or individuals developments are permitted within a road reserve.
Accordingly, the court finds that it would be improper to allow Masitara’s developments in the road reserve as it would obstruct pedestrian and provision of utilities,” Kaisara said.
Kaisara further explained to Masitara that he is also guilty of obstructing the view of motorists especially since his house is located where the road curves and in a T-Junction.
In his defence, Masitara had previously told the court that the structures do not pose any form of threat to other road users.
He mentioned that initially there were three carports, but he removed the one carport, which was said to be obstructing road users.
He stated that the car shades do not prevent people from passing and that some people actually utilised them for shelter from rain or the sun. In July 2011, when conducting a familiarisation tour of Tlokweng for its new members, the South East District Council observed that there were certain developments at Masitara’s plot which were erected within the road reserve.
The court previously heard that at its meeting of January 30 2015, the council after affording Masitara a hearing, resolved that he must remove the illegal developments in question within 30 days, but Masitara then applied for reconsideration.