Promised land

Francinah Baaitse
NO DEAL: Brinke and Enga

Enga prevails against neighbour in dramatic land appeal

In a gripping legal saga that has captivated Maun, the Customary Court of Appeal (CCA) has made a decisive ruling in a longstanding land dispute between former Northwest District Council luminary, Duncan Enga, and his neighbour, Kurl Albert Schulte To Brinke.

The case, which has been simmering for 29 years, reached a boiling point in a dramatic appeal hearing last week.

Enga, once the chairperson of the Northwest District Council, vehemently contested a prior ruling by the Maun Customary Court, which had ordered him to honor an agreement made by his late father, G.P.S Kgathi, to release part of his land to Brinke.

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However, the CCA has now overturned this contentious order, sending shockwaves through the community.

The roots of the dispute trace back to a bygone era, with Brinke asserting that nearly three decades ago, he struck a deal with Enga’s father to aid in the development of a residential plot along the Thamalakane River in Flowertown ward, Maun.

Brinke claims he fulfilled his end of the bargain, constructing a two-roomed house, a pit latrine, and fencing the property, with the expectation of receiving a portion of the land in return.

Yet, the transfer of land was delayed until Kgathi’s passing in 2017, who reportedly urged his children to resist Brinke’s claims, alleging non-compliance with the agreement.

Enga, however, paints a different picture, recalling his involvement in the project after completing his Tirelo Sechaba (national service) in 1994. “The following year, 1995 Brinke started building the house, a two-and-half. When it was at window level, he told me that his financial muscle was depleted and so we (Kgathi’s children) bought roofing materials to help him complete the house.”

By then Enga who is now a successful travel and destination agent in Northwest was working as a Safari photographer.

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Enga says they helped the old man connect water and electricity because the house was to be rented out to help bring him income for subsistence.

Together, they contributed to the construction efforts, envisioning the property as a source of rental income to sustain their father in his later years.

Enga further asserts that his father, during his tenure as a councilor in 2010, cautioned him against conceding to Brinke’s demands.

Despite Brinke’s insistence on fulfilling his obligations, the CCA ultimately found it challenging to ascertain the veracity of his claims, particularly given the considerable lapse in time before initiating legal action.

Moreover, they questioned the rationale behind the delayed pursuit of justice, especially considering the five-year gap following Kgathi’s demise.

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Consequently, the court annulled the prior order against Enga, granting Brinke a thirty-day window to appeal to the High Court.

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