Kanye real estate businessman, Oabele Ketsile is contemplating taking the Southern District Council (SDC) to court in a bid to recover substantial financial losses emanating from his treatment by the council.
At the centre of the controversy is the refusal or delay by the council to issue him with an occupation certificate to operate a hotel in Lotlhakane East near Kanye.
Ketsile says for the past six months, the council has been applying time delaying tactics, which has resulted in huge financial losses.
The P3 million ten-bedroomed property was certified fit for purpose in December last year, and since then, he says the council has been refusing to grant him permission to commence business on baseless and dubious grounds.
The lodge initially belonged to one Anastacia Nthmomang, and following the completion of the property, ownership was transferred to Format Holdings, a company owned by Ketsile.
After the transfer of the property to the new owners, the Building Control Office, Environmental Department, Fire Department of the Southern District at Kanye carried out the inspection of the building in December 2018 and developments were approved in January 2019.
“After inspecting and approving the building, the Building Control raised new issues about lack of a plan over the construction of an existing boundary wall and demanded that architectural drawings of the wall be submitted for regularization retrospectively,” said Ketsile.
He says this is despite the fact that when the building and the wall were constructed, there were no regulatory requirements for submission of the drawings of a boundary wall, and only came into effect this year when the boundary wall have long been completed.
However, he says the company complied and paid a total of P1, 810 to the council for regularization.
“The understanding was that after completing all these requirements, Format Holding will be finally issued with an occupation certificate, which handnt happened at the time of going to press but instead persisted with coming up with new objections as usual this time about the measurements of the existing boundary wall saying they did not match with those reflected on the original “Provisional Certificate of Grant Under Common Law” issued in the name of Anastacia Nthomang dated 12 June 1994 by the Ngwaketse Land Board,” explained the businessman.
After complying once again, Ketsile says the Building Control Officer and the Council Secretary persisted in raising a series of objections through separate letters April 3 2019, May 3 2019 and May 9 2019, demanding that the original application for the regularization of the boundary wall reflecting the name of the original owner, who is now deceased must be withdrawn and a fresh one submitted by new owners.
The Kanye businessman accuses SDC Chairperson, Alec Seametso, Council Secretary, Charles Amos and Building Control Officer, K. Mangole of frustrating his efforts of growing the economy and creating jobs.
It is a result of the above that Ketsile has instructed his lawyer Herbert Sikhakhane to sue the council for loss of business over the past six months.
SDC chairman, Alec Seametso has however said he is not aware of the impeding court case against the council, but confirmed that they are dealing with the case of the Ketsile.
He explained the delay in issuance of the occupancy certificate has been caused by the businessman not satisfying all the necessary requirements.
Seametso warned that Ketsile may come to regret taking the legal route as that may jeopardize chances of getting the certificate soon as the court case might drag.
It is up to Ketsile to ensure that he satisfies all the requirements and the authority will gladly grant him the certificate.
“Our wish is to see the lodge opening and creating jobs to local youth, but we cannot just ignore the law,” said Seametso.
Reached for comment, the Building Control Officer said it was found out that Ketsile has expanded the perimeter of his boundary wall.
Mangole said the issue was handed over to the land board, and to his understanding the land authorities have dealt with it and have handed the matter of the Council Secretary.
Council Secretary, Amos was not available for comment. His phones were off and he was said to be attending a workshop in Gaborone at the time.