The battle for the disputed multi-million pula Setlhoa Village situated in Gaborone’s new Block 10 suburb is not over yet, despite a Court of Appeal judgment last Friday, government legal sources have revealed.
Sources have informed Botswana Guardian that legal brains from the Attorney General and the Directorate of the Public Prosecutions (DPP) are still studying the Court of Appeal judgment to chant the way forward. According to sources the two departments are soon to convene a meeting to discuss the matter. Attorney General, Dr. Attaliah Molokomme confirmed to the Botswana Guardian that, “we are still studying the judgement then we will decide what to do.”
The Judges that include Lord Abernethy, Isaac Lesetedi and Lord Hamilton last Friday set aside a High Court ruling that upheld the forfeiture order granted in relation to Plot 55720 (Setlhoa Village) by the magistrate court that the land should be returned to government.
The Prosecution had argued that the chunk of land was obtained illegally by the former Debswana Managing Director Louis Nchindo through the Tourism Development Consortium (Pty) Ltd. The CoA judges meanwhile doubted whether Section 319(1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act- which was found to empower the court to order forfeiture of the land - was intended to cover immovable property.
“The title remains with TDC’s and is registered in the Register of Deeds in TDC’ name,” reads part of the Friday Court of Appeal judgment. However, the DPP and the Attorney General took solace in the fact that the Judges ruled that on the face of it, the title belongs to TDC and if the State considers that that it should be changed, “then the appropriate action should be taken in the appropriate court.”
Now legal brains are scratching their heads as to whether to initiate civil or criminal proceedings on the issue. DPP is also to consider whether to hand over the matter to the AG Chambers to take further action or whether to proceed in pursuing the issue further.