The President of the Land Tribunal, Galesiti Baruti, has criticised the Kweneng Land Board for acting in a way that boarders on criminal irresponsibility.
Addressing the issue in which Duke Masilo wants to be compensated with land for his piece of arable land that was taken over by the Kweneng Land Board, Baruti said the Land Board had told the Tribunal that the issue brought before it by Masilo had been addressed by its full board whilst the truth was that it had only been addressed by a panel of the board and that Masilo was never even cross examined.
Baruti said that this means that the first passage was added to the body of the minutes to give the false impression that there was a full board meeting.
”For the whole public body to assert that there was a full board meeting when it knew that to be false is unfortunate indeed and for a public body’s officials to engage in untruthfulness is unfortunate and boarders on criminal irresponsibility,” Baruti stressed.
The resolution against which Masilo is appealing was not passed by a board but by a panel that was still to take it to a full board of the Land Board. This, Baruti said, means that the resolution can not be allowed to stand as a resolution of the Board of the Land Board.
He further said that there was nothing on record which showed a balance of probabilities that the Land board had ever made a resolution on Masilo’s compensation.
He said that, in his view, the Land Board is still to finalise the matter of offering Masilo compensation.
Masilo is demanding 1 commercial plot, 1 industrial plot and 9 residential plots.
On the issue raised by the Board’s lawyer that the tribunal had no right to allocate land and that allocation of land is the work of the Land Board, Baruti said that Section 13 of the Tribal Land Act stipulates the statutory powers of the Land Board.
But, he stressed, such powers are not exercised just anyhow but in accordance with provisions of the Act.
Section 14 of the same Act states that any party, including Masilo, who is aggrieved by the decision of the Land Board when exercising its powers under Section 13 may appeal to the Land Tribunal.
Further, the Land Tribunal can set aside the decision of a Land Board, including an allocation decision and can make an order it deems appropriate.
Section 14, said Baruti, does not list or restrict the types of orders that the Tribunal may make; all that is required is that the order is deemed legally appropriate.