Thursday, June 20, 2024

Kgatleng residents face eviction, demolitions

Scores of Batswana who were illegally granted change of land use in respect of certain plots by the Oodi Sub-Land board face eviction and some of their plush houses are expected to be demolished.

The change of land use was from ploughing fields to mixed use.

This is contained in two separate reports commissioned by the main land board, Kgatleng Land Board.

The investigation by Kgatleng Landboard discovered that the Oodi Sub Landboard granted change of land use to some applicants when it has no such powers according to the law.

According to a report in the form of a legal opinion sought and rendered to Kgatleng Land Board’s legal advisors, Monthe Marumo& Co.  found that “Oodi Sub Land Board is not allowed as a public authority to do as it pleases.”

Oodi Land Board, the report says: “Could not have exercised a power which it does not have or perform any function beyond what is conferred on it by law. In exercising the power to change of use, the sub land board acted without legal authority. Its actions are therefore invalid and of no use and effect. Theirs is not a decision at all and therefore such may not stand.” The lawyers further stated that the power to grant change of land use is only conferred on the main land board.

“The substance of an attempt to change land use by Oodi sub Land Board is in effect to override the decision of the main land board in relation to its authority to zone land. Such a position is untenable at law,” the lawyers stated.

The lawyers further stated that “as indicted above, the position of the law is that the purported change of land use by Oodi Sub Land Board is invalid and of no force and essentially taken not to be existent n law. The resultant effect therefore would be that the pieces of land revert back to the use as was zoned by the land board.”  They further stated that any developments that may have followed the “unlawful change of land use would have to sufferer the same fate as the decision to grant the change of land use, the said developments are therefore unlawful.”

According to another report in the form of minutes by the Kgatleng Land Board members, “one member said that the Land Board should look at all cases in which the Sub Land Board acted outside its jurisdiction and the Board should not condone such mistakes regardless of how many they are.”  The chairperson reportedly said that if the matter involves fraud then it should be reported to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC).  The chairperson added that the Sub Land Board acted outside its jurisdiction therefore the approval for change of land use be revoked and that all the “developments made should be demolished or land be restored to its original position.”

It has since emerged that some of the applicants who felt aggrieved by the decision of the Kgatleng Land Board to reverse the decision of the sub-land board have approached the Land Tribunal seeking redress.

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