Court of Appeal judges will tomorrow (Monday) hear the long awaited appeal brought before it by Central Kalahari Game Reserve residents, Mosetlhanyane Matsipane , his son, Gakenyatsiwe Matsipane and seven other residents who are appealing against a judgment that government is not obliged to provide them with water inside the game reserve.
The judgment was handed down last year by Lobatse High Court judge, Lakhvinder Walia, ruling that both applicants were not entitled to bring the case before the Court.
The High Court judge further said that it was clear from the case involving Roy Sesana that only 189 applicants in the Sesana case were entitled to reside in the CKGR and that the applicants were not part of the group entitled to reside in the CKGR.
Walia said the applicants were like everybody else and are supposed to obtain permits from relevant authorities to enter the game reserve.
He dismissed the argument by the applicants that, by refusing the applicants access to water within the reserve, the government was subjecting them to harsh, inhuman and degrading treatment.
This, he said, was the case because the respondents had stated that government was providing water to residents outside the reserve.
Further to that, Walia said that much as the applicants argued that they have the right to reside in the reserve, there was no reason why they could not opt for an area closer to where water and other services were available.
The respondents were represented by Boingotlo Toteng whilst Gordon Bennet represented the applicants.
In other court matters this week, the Court of Appeal judges dealt with several criminal appeals, top amongst them being an appeal brought by two condemned prisoners who have been in jail for ten years, South African Michael Molefe and Botswana citizen Brandon Sampson.
The two were sentenced to death by the current Chief Justice Maruping Dibotelo.
This happened after he had convicted them of the murder of two Zimbabwean citizens. Their appeal could not be heard because Molefe’s lawyer, Ookeditse Maphakwane, was away on sick leave.
The case was rescheduled for the April sitting.
Another condemned prisoner, Benson Keganne’s appeal could also not be heard because his lawyer, Joar Salbany, informed the Court that he will not be able to represent the condemned prisoner as he was emigrating from the country. The case was to be allocated to another lawyer.
The judges heard an appeal brought by Golebagane Kefakae who pleaded with the judges to set aside the death sentence imposed on him and substitute it with a jail term for having murdered the mother of his children, Mamie Dikube, in October, 2005.
His lawyer, Annah Motlhagodi, argued that the lower court was wrong in finding that he had planned the murder for nine to ten months. She added that it was also wrong that the judge had found that there were extenuating circumstances then negate them with aggravating circumstances. Directorate of Public Prosecution lawyer, Rahim Kham, on the other hand, said, on the appropriateness of the sentence, that the judge was concerned about the rate at which women were being murdered by their lovers and ex lovers and that the Court wanted to be responsive and stamp out the scourge by passing deterrent sentences.
Judgment will be delivered on the 27 of January.