Monday, September 28, 2020

Prominent Maun resident loses appeal over land ownership

The Land Tribunal president, Galesite Baruti, late last year dismissed an appeal in which a prominent Maun resident, Daisy Gorata Wright, wanted the Court to declare that it was true that her late husband, Eustice, had bought a plot lying along the Thamalakane River in Maun from a naturalized Angolan citizen Antonio Amerika.

Dismissing the appeal, Baruti said that Wright’s main evidence for claiming the plot was based on hearsay that Eustice had bought the plot from Amerika and said that she had also confessed that she was not present when the transaction took place.

To support her case of sale of the plot, he said Wright called two witnesses, amongst them Namparo Mampalo Monyame, wife to the late Amerika, who told the Court that she had seen the bank notes passing from the hand of the late Eustice into the hands of Amerika and that the money was in P100 bills.

Baruti said they then counted the P100 bills up to ten and that when more came out from the late Eustice’s hand, Monyame could not count anymore.
The money, Baruti said, was used to buy an ox-drawn plough, two donkeys and two goats but that when the time for cross examination came, Monyame could not say exactly when the sale took place saying it happened during “the year of the flood when the earth trembled.” This, Baruti said, points clearly to the fact that Monyame did not know when the alleged sale took place.

Baruti further said Monyame could not tell the purchase price and could only say ‘it was a lot of money’ some of which she was given and that it was in P100 notes which, he said, shows the sale could not have been in 1979.

Besides maintaining that she was present during the sale of the plot in 1979 and that there was a plot certificate when the sale was carried out, the plot certificate is only dated 23 January, 1991.
Baruti said all this showed that her evidence could not be relied on because it could not provide the basic details of the transaction.

He said that, on the other hand, the evidence given by a witness brought by Wright, a certain Jackson and a brother to Amerika, suffered from a “serious legal incapacity; it was all hearsay.”

Jackson, he said, got the story from a man who is now also late. His evidence, he said, was inadmissible and did not advance Wright’s story that there was a sale agreement and a cession of the plot from Amerika to Wright.

All this, he said, proved that not a single person had witnessed the sale of the plot.

On the evidence brought before the Court, Baruti said that all the certificate of 30 May, 1980 did was to grant Wright a plot measuring 210 x 118 meters for use as a garden and that the certificate can not be used to indicate transfer of land from Amerika to Eustice and that there was nothing to suggest anything further than this.

This, Baruti said, meant that the suggestion that it was a certificate which indicated the plot being passed to Wright was wrong. He ruled that Amerika’s second certificate of 1991 was deemed a forgery which attempted to prove that Amerika was allocated a plot which lies west of Wright’s plot.
The fact provided by the certificate, he said, was that in 1991 the plot still belonged to Amerika and that Wright’s claim that it was transferred to his late husband in 1980 was not true.

This certificate, he concluded, further showed that the claim by Wright and Monyame that the plot was at one stage transferred to Wright was wrong.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.