Thursday, October 1, 2020

Land Board taken to task over handling of Linchwe’s complaint

The Land Tribunal president, Gaesiti Baruti, has ruled that the Kgatleng Land Board did not act according to law regarding the allocation of land to Bakgatla regent, Mothibe Sello Linchwe.

Linchwe had appealed against the Land Board’s decision allowing the transfer of land at Mmafunditshe to Isaac Monau as well as the drilling of a borehole in the field.

In his judgment, Baruti said that there was nothing in the record to show how the Land Board had dealt with Linchwe’s objection to the transfer of the field and that in the bundle of documents brought to Court by the Land Board, it was interesting to note that various minutes referred to a case between Linchwe and a group called Mmanfuditshe Dam, which he said was irrelevant to the matter before the Court.

Baruti said that the Land Board had seen it fit to put such documents in the files of the present case instead of filing minutes showing how it dealt with the appellant’s objection.

Such minutes, he said, were not available and that the assumption was that the Land Board never dealt with Linchwe’s objection to the field, adding that even if the Land Board did decide on the objection to the transfer of the field, there was no evidence showing that it called the parties involved to give them a proper hearing.

Linchwe, Baruti said, had objected and that he should have been given a hearing.
In 2002, the Kgatleng Sub Land Board considered Isaac Monau’s application for a borehole within a field and his application was recommended for approval.

Then, later, the Kgatleng Land Board considered the Sub Land Board’s recommendation and resolved to approve the allocation of the borehole site to Monau within the field.

Linchwe at that juncture launched a complaint with the Land Board and, at the Land Board’s meeting, considered Linchwe’s objection and resolved to dismiss the objection on grounds that the allocation of a field borehole to Monau was not done outside the field and that, just like in the appeal against the transfer of the field to Monau, Linchwe was not given a hearing while the law states clearly that applications must be put on the public notice board to invite objections.
Baruti said that it was unprocedural not to put the applications on the board and not to listen to those who objected.

If there was a hearing, he said, it was not reflected in the record or documentation and that it was not proved during the hearing.

In conclusion, Baruti said that the Sub Land Board had acted wrongly in that it had failed to comply with Regulation 10 of the Land Board Act when it failed to entertain the objection by Linchwe .

That the Sub Land Board failed to comply with Regulation 11 because it never put the application for the field on the public notice board. The Land Board, he further said, seemed to have confirmed the actions of the Sub Land Board despite the lack of evidence to address some material questions and that it was, therefore, the view of the Court that the Land Board had decided that the land was a permanent field allocated to Tsutsupe without proof of relevant facts such as who allocated the land to Tsutsupe and whether it was allocated as permanent field or not.

Baruti ruled that the Land Board pay the costs of the case and give all parties a hearing.

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