‘I want what’s mine!’


Old wounds reopened as 29-year-old land dispute comes to court

A land dispute dating back 29 years landed before Maun Customary Court this week, with the tribal authority handed the tricky task of finding out whose fooling who!

The case involves former North West District Chairperson, Duncan Enga and his late father’s next door neighbour, Kurl Albert Schulte To Brinke, who insists he was never given the land he bought from Enga’s dad, G.P. S Kgathi, in the mid 90s.

Brinke wants Enga to honour his father’s agreement and release the land rights, which Kgathi failed to do before his passing in 2017.

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Addressing court on Tuesday morning, Brinke said when he first met Kgathi in 1994, he had a big undeveloped plot along the Thamalakane riverbank in Maun’s Flowertown ward in Maun, but had no financial means to develop it.

“He was in a financial mess and my mother-in-law asked me to assist him,” explained the complainant, adding he agreed to build a two-room house, a pit-latrine and fence Kgathi’s plot.

According to Brinke, in return for this, Kgathi was to subdivide the plot and give him one portion of the land.

“I did as promised, built the house, erected the fence, built the toilet and connected a water tap for him, but he delayed to honour his end of the deal,” maintained the elder, who limped into court with the aid of a walking stick.

'I want what's mine!'
UP FOR DEBATE: The pit-latrine Brinke says he paid for

Outside court, when asked why he waited nearly three decades before filing a suit, Brinke told The Voice that aside from Kgathi being a difficult person to deal with, he himself had suffered from ill health and had sought medical help in South Africa.

“I spent some time there, after that I was more concerned about my health and other businesses. However, I kept asking him to deliver his promise at the same time avoiding putting too much pressure, because we are neighbours and I believed that in time he would do the rightful,” continued Brinke, a retired Maun Senior Secondary School teacher of German descent.

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Sadly, Kgathi’s health deteriorated and he died in 2017.

However, before his passing, he reportedly told his children the reason he did not sign over the land rights was because Brinke had not completed his part of the deal.

Enga and his siblings are adamant that while on his deathbed, their father instructed them not to give Brinke the land because he had failed him.

“When I completed my Tirelo Sechaba in 1994, I found the old timer having piled bricks in the yard. The following year, 1995 he started building the house, a two-and-a-half. When it was at window level, he told me that his financial muscle is depleted and so we [his children] bought roofing materials to help him complete the house,” said Enga, adding by that point the pit-latrine was already built and the fencing done.

“We then connected water and electricity.”

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Around 2010, when Enga was a councillor, he says his father told him he had an agreement with Brinke but that the latter did not honour his end of the deal.

According to Enga, his dad said Brinke had promised to build a two-roomed dwelling for him at the back of the main two-and-a-half house.

“It was to be rented out to help bring income for the old man,” explained Enga, adding Brinke never built the house hence his father refused to give him the land.

Brinke remains insistent that he did, while Enga and co are equally adamant he did not; the matter returns to court next week Tuesday for ruling.

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