Monday, June 14, 2021

Koboto begs Masisi’s intervention over land dispute

President Mokgweetsi Masisi and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have been sucked into a fierce battle between the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Wildlife Oduetse Koboto and one Dikepo Koboto.

According to court documents, the two kinsmen are fighting over a portion of a ploughing filed in Sefhare village.

After failing to resolve the matter by Sefhare sub Land Board and Ngwato Land board, Dikepo filed a complaint with Masisi whose office referred the matter to DCEC.

In a letter addressed to Masisi, Diepo accuses Oduetse Koboto and Ngwato Land Board of being involved in corruption.  She states that she bought a ploughing field from a certain Marea Keekae but the permanent secretary and the land board are frustrating her efforts to develop the farm.

She stated that Oduetse Koboto and Ngwato Land board connived to ensure that the former was allocated a portion of the ploughing field she bought from Keekae so that he could access his farm without her consent. It also emerges from court documents that Oduetse Koboto dragged Dikepo and Keekae to the High Court accusing them of blocking his access to his farm. Dikepo then took up the matter with Masisi’s office.

According to a letter dated 13 October and titled: “Request for His Excellency The President’s Intervention: Corruption Allegations at Sefhare Land Board,” one M. Thedi, signing off on behalf of the Permeant Secretary to the President informed Dikepo that: “You are advised that your appeal has been forwarded to the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime for consideration and resolution.”

Thedi added that the “Directorate has been duly informed to share progress with you on your appeal. Please contact them for follow ups.”

According to court records, Koboto had approached the High Court seeking among others an order restraining Dikepo from blocking the road that gives access to his farm and ordering Dikepo to remove any fencing and all material that can affect access of the road into his fields.

Responding to The Telegraph enquiries, Oduetse Koboto said “I know Dikepo complained twice in 2015 and Land board ruled in my favour and second in 2019 and Land board also ruled in my favour. Even the Court has granted a temporary judgement in my favour after on her later complaint after I had approached high court on urgency as she had closed the road to my farm.”

According to Oduetse Koboto, the matter was not over a ploughing field; it was about the closure of an access to his farm on the side of a ploughing field Dikepo intends to buy.

“Ngwato Land board listened to the matter on the 28 August following the interim judgment of the court. The matter before the court involved opening of the servitude that Dikepo blocked while Land board and the court granted interim judgement that the servitude should remain open until the matter is disposed off by the land board,” said Oduetse Koboto.

He noted that following the meeting of the land board that Dikepo attended, the land board made a ruling in his favour.

“The meeting referred to was for implementation of land board decision in which all affected parties were invited. Please note that Dikepo is not an affected party since she is not yet the legal owner of the tshimo because she is yet to buy it but he was invited to a meeting of 24 November 2020 to witness how the Ngwato Land board decision for opening access road is being implemented.

The only thing awaited from Court is the final judgement on the opening of the access road following the interim judgment I already talked (of) which has now been overtaken by events since Land board had made a determination on the matter and the judgment was an interim order pending the determination of the issue by Land board,” said Oduetse Koboto.

Asked if he approached Ngwato Land board and informed them that the High Court issued an order directing them that the matter be resolved between him, Dikepo and Sefhare Sub Land board, Oduetse Koboto described the allegations as false.

“There will be no reason for me to inform the land board of a decision they of a process they were party to. Their lawyer s are the once that advice (sic) them on the outcome of the matter from court and not me,” he said.

Ngwato Land Board did not respond to The Telegraph queries at the time of going to press. This publication sought to establish why a letter addressed Oduetse Koboto and copied to Dikepo Koboto was dated 26 November (the day the land board invited the duo to a meeting) while the stamp of the same land board was dated 7 November on the envelope and had a stamp of Sefhare sub land dated 11 November. 

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