State attorneys delay Land Tribunal

31 May 2018 | Justice

The Land Tribunal has reluctantly postponed until 9 August a case in which a woman is fighting the state after being booted off as co-lessee of a resettlement farm granted to her and her former husband while they were married in community of property, because state attorneys was unprepared.

However, Land Tribunal chairperson Elize Angula stressed the postponement was granted on condition the state lawyers cover the “wasted” legal costs of Mara Uazenga.

Uazenga, represented by Reya Karuaihe, is appealing the decision of the lands ministry to terminate her right as co-lessee of Farming Unit A in the Omaheke Region.

State attorney Immanuel Dausab said he was only instructed on Tuesday and had very little time to prepare.

He therefore asked for a condonation for late filing and non-compliance with the stipulated time period. In her condonation founding affidavit, government attorney Janseline Gawises stated they were under the impression the lands ministry would attend and handle the tribunal hearing yesterday.

However, to their surprise they received a letter on 17 May from the attorney-general's office informing them the hearing was set for yesterday.

Gawises added they had a meeting on Tuesday at 10:00 with the lands ministry to determine what has been done so far and whether they had to attend to the hearing.

It was at this meeting they were instructed to attend the tribunal.

The affidavit also indicates that Gawises and her team were instructed on 25 August 2014 to evict Uazenga from the resettlement farm, but were informed on 4 September 2014 to put this on hold pending the outcome of the appeal.

“On 30 March 2015 we wrote to the client (ministry) to advise us on the outcome of the appeal and if were still required to attend to the eviction.

It is against this background that we were under the impression that the client would attend to the appeal hearing and not our office,” Gawises said. She also indicated they are certain of success, because the farm was allocated to Mara's husband Zebalt Uazenga and because of non-joinder his wife is not entitled to the land after their divorce.

JEMIMA BEUKES