Chronicles of the Tsabong land fracas – Kgalagadi Land Board and Minister Prince Maele

ZOLANI KRAAI

At its sitting of September 25 to 27 2017, Kgalagadi Land Board resolved to oppose legal proceedings instituted against it by Animal Care Agencies (Pty) Ltd, represented by Hendrick Van Romburgh.
In his founding affidavit, Land Board Secretary Otsile Ditiro states that there is no proof of the existence of the Animal Care Agencies (PTY) Ltd as a registered entity or that it exists at all.
Answering the Affidavit of Animal Care Agencies, Otsile says such proof is critical to the application because it should be in the founding papers and that it cannot be proved or demonstrated in reply.
Otsile says, on behalf of the Kgalagadi Land Board, that it has no intention of reviewing its earlier decision of 2004 to realign the farm and has proceeded to resolve to request the minister responsible for land to grant the consent as required by the provisions of the Tribal Land Act.
In an interview with The Botswana Gazette recently, White said he met minister Maele in November 2015 to lay a complaint about the issue. He said Maele asked him to put his complaint in writing and the resolutions he sought.
Maele undertook to refer the letter and the ruling of the Land Tribunal of 28 September 2012 to the Attorney General, pointed out White. White indicates that the minister promised to send him the written response and to take proper action in accordance with the Attorney General’s advice.
“I wrote the letter and asked Member of Parliament (MP) Kgalagadi South, Frans van der Westhuizen to hand deliver it to Maele, as I did not trust the officials in the Ministry of Lands and Housing to permit their Minister to see it,” White shared.
“Minister Maele acknowledged verbally in two telephone conversations in January and February 2016 to have received the letters but since March 2016, has declined to take my telephone calls;” said White.
He however said Maele has never acknowledged receiving his letter in writing, let alone informed him of the outcome of any consultation with the Attorney General or taken any action.
In failing to do so, White says, in the court proceedings, that Maele acted in bad faith and, together with his predecessors, failed in his legal and constitutional duty to uphold his ministerial prerogative of sole authority to authorize the allocation of tribal land to non-citizens.

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