By Sandile Nkambule | 2017-11-14
Human rights lawyer and subject of KaLuhleko Royal Kraal Thulani Rudolf Maseko and others are challenging the authority of Chief Zulelihle Maseko following his recent installation.
Maseko who has been cited as the applicant is seeking orders of court inter alia that the first respondent (chief) undergoes a DNA test and that Linda Maseko, Aaron Maseko, Sjingo Zwane and Chief Velamuva Maseko who are cited as the fourth to seventh respondents be declared by the constitutional court that they do not form part of the family council (Lusedvo) of KaLuhleko Royal Kraal.
Further Maseko and the others are also seeking an order that Chief Zulelihle be interdicted and restrained from executing the duties of KaLuhleko as a chief pending finalisation of the matter before court.
The matter was yesterday heard by a full bench comprising Judges Mzwandile Fakudze, John Magagula and Doris Tshabalala and senior lawyer Mandla Mkhwanazi and the Attorney General’s office made their submissions. During submissions it was stated that Maseko was allocated Swazi Nation land by the then Acting chief Robert Maseko who acted between the years 1992 to 2008 and he erected his homestead and fenced the piece of land allocated to him.
However, on or about mid- August 2017 the incumbent chief (Zulelihle) discovered that Maseko had cleared the area below and above the piece of land which was initially allocated to him for purposes of further construction.
The high Court full bench has reserved judgment in the matter which was filed with a certificate of urgency.
Chief wants Thulani stopped form using disputed piece land
While Human Rights lawyer Thulani Maseko is challenging the authority of Chief Zulelihle of KaLuhleko, the Chief also filed an urgent application at the High court seeking an order interdicting, Thulani from constructing on the disputed land.
According to papers filed by the Chief, Maseko has cleared land below and above land that was allocated to him for construction of his homestead and it is clear that he intents erecting structures on the disputed land.
The chief in his papers submitted that the matter was urgent in that Maseko will start construction work anytime on the two pieces of land which he allegedly unlawfully allocated himself stating that if he continues to erect same, it would be difficult and costly to have them demolished in light of the constitutional provisions of Act N0 1 of 2005.
It was also submitted in the papers that the chief possesses the necessary legal standing to institute the present application as he sufficiently demonstrated before court in which legal standing he brought the application.
“It is submitted that the applicant as the rightful appointed chief, has a direct and substantial interest to administer KaLuhleko chiefdom which is a subject to litigation,” reads part of the papers.
According to the papers before court, the chief approached the court to seek an interdict and now a final interdict pertaining to alleged on-going unlawful acts committed by Thulani and Boy Boy Maseko that of unlawfully clearing land not belonging to Thulani with the intent to utilising it and that of holding meetings without the consent or authority of the chief and Zacharia Linda Maseko.
It has also been submitted that the traditional structures have no power to issue an interdict but that is a sole preserve of the high Court in accordance with Section 51 (1) of the constitution of the Kingdom.
Authorities cited were that of Bhekwako Dlamini and five others versus Chief Zulelihle Maseko where His Lordship Bheki Maphalala then as he was, stated that the trial court was correct and did not misdirect itself in holding that the court aquo had jurisdiction to hear the matter and that it is common cause that the respondent instituted an urgent application in the court aquo seeking a mandatory interdict compelling appellant (Bhekwako) to remove fence from a piece of land belonging to the Chief’s Kraal (Umphakatsi).
It was for that reason that the chief submitted in his papers that the High Court is the right forum for an application for an interdict.
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