Botswana: Challenging the constitutionality of the legislative scheme relating to tribal land

Salc : Staff Writer

SALC is assisting the Ba-Ga-Malete Tribe, represented by Kgosi Mosadi Seboko and the Gamalete Development Trust, against the Malete Land Board and the Attorney General to retain the land known as Forest Hill 9-KO that the Tribe bought with their resources in 1925  for grazing purposes (Kgosi Mosadi Seboko and Another v Attorney General) . The Tribe is challenging the inclusion of Forest Hill 9-KO in the Bamalete Tribal Territory. The Tribe’s Application seeks recognition of the Tribe’s ownership over their land and challenges the constitutionality of the legislative scheme relating to tribal land.

On 22 March 2021, the High Court of Botswana heard the Malete Land Board application seeking a court order cancelling the Deed of Transfer in favour of the Gamalete Development Trust in respect of Forest Hill. On the same day, the Court also heard a Mosadi Seboko’s counter-application opposing the Land Board’s Application.

The High Court in its judgment on 21  May 2021 ruled in favour of the Tribe.

Motlhala Ketshabile & Company, Botlhole Law Group, Rantao Attorneys, Adv Geoff Budlender SC, and Adv Mitchell de Beer represent the Tribe.