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Elderly men fight for dead woman’s estate

Semumu Samaxa
Semumu Samaxa

A bitter rivalry between elderly relatives, a 94-year old uncle and his 75-year old nephew over a late woman’s ploughing field has escalated to Maun customary court.

In a case that was before kgosi Oleo Ledimo last Tuesday, 94- year- old Semumu Samaxa sought legal permission to evict his late sister’s son, Gabaeme Saasa from the field, which he has since turned into a place of residence.

But Saasa, 75, has vehemently argued that the land in question belonged to his now late mother, Kemohilwe Mokgowe.

Giving evidence in court, Samaxa said that a long time ago he settled in Xobe and had a big field.

Meanwhile his sister’s husband had no land so he lent him half of the field to use for ploughing.

However around 2010 he wanted the field back because the couple was no longer utilising it for ploughing.

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“My sister cried and pleaded with me to allow them to stay there. I could not kick my sister out because she cried,” Samaxa told the court.

However following the husband’s demise, Samaxa erected new fencing poles around the entire field including the portion he had lent to his sister but the sister registered her objection through the court.

In his defence Samaxa told the court that the field was his and he had Land Board certificates to prove it.

“Your father did not own the land and that field was never for your mother to inherit,” said Samaxa in response to his nephew who had levelled scathing allegations against him, accusing him of a plot to loot their mother’s inheritance.

Meanwhile Samaxa insisted that the land in question was inherited from both Samaxa and her mother, Kemohilwe’s parents.

Gabaeme Saasa

Gabaeme Saasa

“The field was divided between them, but along the way our uncle wanted to take everything and without our mother’s knowledge he went to the Landboard and obtained the certificate through false testimony. He told them it was a single field and it belonged to him,” said Saasa.

He added that at some point his mother sought help from Boseja customary court regarding the matter and Samaxa was found to be at fault and made to remove the poles that he had erected around Kemohilwe’s side of the field.

It was after the fencing issue that Kemohilwe allegedly moved permanently to Xobe to guard the field from his brother.

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“My grandmother decided to move permanently to Xobe and we built her a house there. This was after uncle attempted to grab the land from her,” said a witness Rosinah Sebolai, 48.

Kemohilwe died in 2018 before getting a Landboard certificate for the said field.

Yet another witness, Letsogile Kgetho, 60, accused the old man of greed. “That land is not his. Following Kemohilwe’s demise he called me and told me that he wanted to inherit her estate. Now it is clear that he was referring to the field which he has no right to because Kemohilwe has surviving children, “said Kgetho

Kgetho further stated that he did not understand why the old man would want his late sister’s field when he could not even attend her funeral.

“He was there at his home and did not care to attend the bereavement proceedings and the funeral. He has no right to claim the inheritance.”

The case that took the whole working day on Tuesday was postponed to Friday when the presiding chief and involved parties was expected to visit Xobe to see the disputed land before passing judgment.

Meanwhile the uncle has not brought forth any witnesses. He has however produced a letter in which he has requested the land Board to issue him with a copy of the land certificate.

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