Court dismisses Kgang’s illegal tribal land claims
Chairperson of Kweneng Land Board, Kgang Kgang has lost a case in which he wanted to illegally disposes Boitumelo Setlhabi of her land situated at Mmokolodi in the Kweneng Tribal Area.
Appearing before Lobatse High Court Judge, Michael Motlhabi this week, Kgang left the court a disgraced man after he was told he has not at any point claimed to have a certificate of title to the disputed land and that he has been aware that the land had been transferred to Setlhabi’s father as far back as 2005.
The facts of the matter are that the ploughing field which was the subject of the dispute, was initially solely owned by Setlhabi, who subsequently subdivided it into hectares and transferred them to Lebone Moetapele Mophuting, Ndiwe Isaac Gaolape, Taelo Lindani Pabalelo and Tiro Pabalelo each owning a portion respectively.
It is said that by application filed on October, 7th, 2O21, the applicants, Setlhabi and four others sought the eviction of Kgang on the basis that they are the lawful owners of the land while on the other hand he opposed the matter claiming that he had been in occupation of the property since 2002 and has developed the property.
“Kgang’s claim to ownership of the land was by virtue, of it having been a bogosi/old allocation inheritance to him, it was not based on the certificate of title like Setlhabi. The application for eviction was prompted by the alleged unlawful occupation, and development of the property by Kgang,” the court was told.
Kgang also claimed that the land was an old bogosi allocation to his family, which he inherited from his late aunt Motshudi Motlapele in 2000. The court was told that the Landboard Chair also attached a letter from the Mmankgodi Customary Court to the Mogoditshane Land Board authored by the Chief, who in the letter states that he knows Motlapele and that she has inherited a ploughing field in Mmokolodi.
“Additionally, Kgang has attached another letter from the Mmankgodi Customary Court at the hands of the Chief who claims that, Kgang has been given a ploughing filed from Mmokolodi. The letters he places reliance on, do not expressly state that he inherited the land, and that ownership was passed on to him in the year 2000. He has not at any point claimed to have a certificate of title to the disputed land.”
The court was further told that , Kgang has been aware that the land had been transferred to Setlhabi’s father as far back as 2005, but did not take action to vindicate his alleged title since becoming aware that it was disputed in 2O05. “It is the view of this Court that, if there are disputes of facts, they are not material to the eviction application, as Setlhabi and four others hold valid title to the subdivided Mmokolodi plot. Kgang has failed to establish a legal basis, for converting these application proceedings to trial,” read Judge Motlhabi who went further and dismissed Kgang’s application. Setlhabi was represented by Ndadi Attorneys while Kgang was represented by Rabashwa Attorneys.