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Land Tribunal orders demolition of Masitara’s property

Publishing Date : 13 July, 2015

Author : TEFO PHEAGE

Masitara's structures in Tlokweng are illegal


The land tribunal has ruled against former Member of Parliament, Robert Masitara and his Wife, Poloko in a case in which they had taken the South East District Council to the Land Tribunal appealing a decision by the Council to demolish some of the structures he had built in his Tlokweng Forensic Investigation and residence multimillion yard.


The Council had ordered Masitara to clean up the mess in 2011 when conducting a familiarisation tour in Tlokweng for new members after learning that the structures, paving, car pots-overhanging car shades, steel support structure and nets as well as Chains mounted on pillars were constructed without permission.


The Council said that no planning permission was ever granted to Masitara nor was it ever requested for by him for the said developments.Masitara said that he understood that they ought to have obtained permission to construct the structures adding that they recieved a letter instructing them to remove the developments whilst he was in the process of applying for permission to regularise the developments.

Masitara further pleaded that he be allowed to keep the strucures whilst he applies for permission to regularise the structures. He further pleaded that the structures be left intact and if Council wants to undertake any developments in the area, he would remove them.


Masitara rubbished the Council’s suggestions that the structures were obstructing or posing any form of threat to other road users further adding that the has removed some which were said to be obstructing people.He continued that some people actualy utilise the shades for shelter from the sun and rain.


The Council however argued that Masitara ‘s constructions were illegal and that they were dangerously in a road reserve in front of his plot, this being an area where Masitara had no land rights. They said the developments compromised the safety and visibility of motorists. They further argued that during the day, pedestrians are forced onto the tarmac further saying that Masitara ‘s plot is located where visibility is compromised as it is a curved area.


The Council further argued that government has introduced guidelines for small and medium enterprises which provide for activities that can be carried out within residential plots without licencing. The condition,they said, is that the activity should not lead to change of land use and that the land should remain dorminantly used for residential purpose.The South East Council further accused Masitara of using a residential plot for business,an accusation Masitara refuted saying the only house used as an office was the house in front.


In handing down the judgement, Sampa  Kaisara, the tribunal president, said it is common cause that Tlokweng has been declared a Planning Area in terms of the Town and Country Planning Act which means that the provisions of the Act apply in the area.


 “In terms of the Act the Council is empowered to undertake duties in furtherance of the objectives of the Act.The main objective is to make provision for the orderly development of land in both urban and rural areas and to preserve and improve the amenities thereof,” he said.


He said in accordance with the Act,no development will be permitted in the area without planning permission having been granted.He ruled that the developments were illegal as they were constrcuted contrary to the provisions of the said Act.


“In addition,the developmets in questions lie within a road reserve of tarred public road in front of Masitara’s plot.A road reserve is an area which provides for facilities like pedestrian ways, as well as lines for water, power, telecommunications, sewer or storm water,” he said, further adding that no private or individual developments are allowed within the road reserve.


“Accordingly, the court finds that it would be improper to allow Masitara’s developments in the road reserve as it would obstruct pedestrians and provision of utilities,” said the president in handing down the judgement.
The court ruled that Masitara’s developments are illegal and ordered him to remove the develoments within 30 days from yesterday (Friday).


The court however saved Masitara’s pavements, allowing him 60 days to obtain planning permission to regularise the paving developments in the disputed area.The court further ruled that should Masitara fail to remove the disputed developments,the Council should remove them and claim the costs of doing so from Masitara.

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