Firm owned by premier’s wife shut down amid cover-up

2011-09-29 07:00

A mining company owned by Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale’s wife, Mokgadi Kgohloane, was shut down amid accusations that the company kept a fatal injury of a worker a secret.

Blue Platinum Ventures 16, trading as Batlhanine Brick Yard, at Ga-Rakoma village, outside Tzaneen, was closed by the department of mineral resources last month, The Star reported.

Kgohloane and Matome Maponya are listed as the company’s directors, and Maponya is also the CEO.

Maponya was arrested and released on a culpable homicide charge on August 4. He was arrested with Philemon Maake, the driver of the tractor that killed Peter Malatjie.

Malatjie was run over by a tractor on July 27, and died eight days later on August 4.

Maponya told the newspaper that Maake was allowed to drive the tractor despite the fact that he did not have a driver’s licence.

“But he has a competency certificate, which allows him to drive on the site, and not on the public road,” said Maponya.

The company did not report Malatjie’s injury and death to the department – even though the Mine Health and Safety Act compels mining companies to report incidents that result in “serious injuries, illness or death” to the principal inspector of mines at the department.

“It was more of a lack of knowledge of the Mine Health and Safety Act,” Maponya said.

According to The Star, Mathale and his wife refused to comment. 

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