Ngwaketse Land Board Ignores Court Orders

Chairperson of Motlhwase ward residents Itumeng Molale speaking during a meeting PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Chairperson of Motlhwase ward residents Itumeng Molale speaking during a meeting PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

Residents of Motlhwase ward at Molapowabojang are disappointed that the Ngwaketse Land Board seems not to be taking the Land Tribunal seriously since it hardly implements what the court orders say.

The Ngwaketse Land Board had two court orders from the Land Tribunal, which instructed the Land Board to consult Motlhwase residents before they allocate plots in their area and stop the allocations to attend to the matter to solve it, but no orders have been implemented.

The court orders date back as far as 2011, 2018 and the latest one is for this year.

The Motlhwase residents have been having disputes with the Ngwaketse Land Board for some years now over a piece of land that their parents were granted by the late Kgosi Seepapitso of Bangwaketse.

On the other hand, the Land Board claims it does not recognise the proof brought by Motlhwase residents.

The residents, who call themselves the ‘Concerned’ group, were again forced to rush to court this month to stop allocation of plots by the Ngwaketse Land Board as they claimed it was allocating plots from their ploughing fields.

That was despite the court having ordered the Land Board to give those residents certificates of confirmation that indeed the land they are fighting for belongs to them.

The concerned members have old certificates that were granted to their grandparents during the late Kgosi Seepapitso reign and they do not have any other place they call home apart from Motlhwase.

“...those applicants who were required by the Land Board to submit supporting proof to their claims, are directed to do so within 30 days and the respondent (Land Board) shall consider the applicants’ claims/applications for certificates and make final decisions on same within three months. Pending consideration of the said applications, the Land Board shall halt further dealings with the affected pieces of land,” stated a recent court order by the Chief Land Tribunal president, Sambi Kaisara.

The court also ordered that all members of the Concerned group (falling outside the 2018 order) who have claims in the disputed area should register their claims with the Land Board.

The chairperson of the Concerned group, Itumeleng Molale said they are really disappointed at the way the Land Board is handling the issue and even some leaders at Molapowabojang “who found us here when they came to reside in the village are treating us”.

“Honestly, it is unfair for some people to be calling us ‘bomaipayahela’ when our parents were allocated that piece of land by Kgosi Seepapitso. The majority of us are more than 70 years and we do not have any other home or piece of land apart from this one. If the Land Board does not fulfil or implement what the court order says, then we will have no choice but to approach the High Court,” Molale said.

Another elder, Mothebedi Gontho added he had thought the matter would be resolved amicably but the Land Board now seems to be up for a fight.

“Mo go ne ga re utlwisa botlhoko ke fa re fitlhela ba baya batho mo ditshimong tsa rona. Ba bangwe ba bewa go bapa le didiba tsa rona. Tota a mme motho o ka kgaoganya tshimo ya gago o le teng a sa batle go bua nabo? Mo ke lone lonyatso tota. Ba tseneletse ditshele hela tsa mo motseng tse re sa di tlhaloganyeng jaaka o bona ba re bitsa bo maipayahela [What is hurtful is finding out your field is being allocated to other people. Some even allocated the lands with our wells in them. How can they subdivide our fields and not consult us? It’s sheer disrespect. Instead of engaging us, they go with the hearsay and gossip, calling us squatters.],” he said.

Editor's Comment
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