High Court refuses Phakalane Estates bid to repossess unfinished house
by Sunday Standard Reporter
In what may bring relief to many plot owners at Phakalane Estate, the Lobatse High Court has rejected an application by the Phakalane Estates to repossess an incomplete residential dwelling.
Phakalane Estates had rushed to court alleging that the plot owner, Malido Company, had failed to develop the plot within the stipulated time as agreed through a development covenant between the two.
Its view was that there has been a breach of contract since the transfer of property around 2002.
The company was supposed to have developed a single family residence on the property by the 10th of April 2007. Phakalane Estate claimed that Malido had failed to do so. In terms of the judgment by Judge Key Dingake an unfinished plot does not qualify for a repossession. Phakalane Estates wanted the court to cancel the Malido’s interest on the plot and directing that it be forfeited to Phakalane Estates against a payment of close to P40 000 as being 70 percent of the original purchase price of the plot.
However in counter argument, Malido maintained that it had not breached the development agreement. It attached copies of the unfinished house to resist the claim.
It argued, among others, that the initial cost of the property exceeded the initial cost of the property when it was purchased from Phakalane Estates.
According to Malido, the developed House and developments on the plot were worth over half a million. It also contended that the Gaborone City Council had approved the different stages of development.
According to the court, although unoccupied, the development on the plot could not be disregarded. On the filed court papers, Phakalane Estates’s managing director, Lesang Magang, had contended that Malido Company had failed to effect ‘any development on the property whatsoever’.
Dingake said that on a balance of probabilities, Phakalane Estates had failed to prove that the building is not complete.