Uncle pursues justice for mentally challenged nephew

Francinah Baaitse
CONCERNED: Kenewang Sebihilwe

An elderly uncle in Maun has landed himself in trouble with both his in-laws and the law, after selling his mentally-challenged nephew’s home, leaving the disabled man homeless.

In a complex case with roots that date back 36 years, Moses Dinyando approached the Customary Court of Appeal seeking a second opinion, after being ordered to return the residential plot he sold in 2016.

The matter is set to rumble on, with the three-Judge panel overruling the original verdict, deciding the case should be registered as a fresh matter before High Court.

A brief background to the family fallout is that Moses’ brother, Leratang Dinyando was married to Seilang Sebihilwe. Both bought a child into the union: Dinyando Leratang and Gosego Seilang, raising them together as one happy family.

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In 1988, Leratang passed on and his wife remained in their matrimonial home at Shashe ward in Maun.

However, not long after her husband’s burial she started complaining about a headache and, a few months later, she passed away too.

The two step-brothers continued to stay together peacefully in their parent’s home for many years.

The peace was shattered in 2013, when one of the siblings, Dinyando died, leaving the mentally-ill Gosego as the sole survivor.

Three years later, Uncle Moses sold the home to one, Moagi Moruakgomo, transferring the plot into the other man’s name. It is reported he tricked Tawana Landboard into believing Moruakgomo was entitled to the inheritance, when in fact he was not related to the deceased at all.

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Court took a dim view on this ‘devious’ behaviour.

“Lekgotla leno le batla go gatelela tumelo ya lone ya gore monna yo, Moses Dinyando ke nta ya selomela kobong. Ke leferefere, o dirile bonokwane (This court maintains that this man, Moses Dinyando is a backstabber, he is dishonest and what he did was criminal).”

The panel, led by Court President, Kgosi Christopher Masunga, noted Moses had deprived his nephew of his rightful inheritance.

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“He further made wrong claims that Gosego’s parents were not married,” added Masunga.

The matter was initially brought before Maun Customary Court in June 2023, by another uncle, Kenewang Sebihilwe, who is currently staying with Gosego.

It was ruled Moses must return the property to his nephew within a month, failure of which court would forcefully grab it and transfer it into Gosego’s names.

Unimpressed, Moses appealed the decision, maintaining Gosego was not his late brother’s son and therefore was not a rightful heir to his property.

He further argued that after his brother’s passing, the property was transferred to their mother, Mokamo Thindimba who later died in 2003.

“After her burial the plot was given to me and I sold it to Moruakgomo. for fear of being bewitched; I was scared of witchcraft.”

Moses also pointed out the property was no longer in his names, making it impossible for him to give it to Gosego as court had instructed.

Accepting this point, the Appeal Judges cancelled the original order, sending the messy matter to High Court to deal with instead.

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