Land infested with migrant workers - lawyer

2012-10-23 13:11
Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

Marikana inquiry (Picture: Sapa)

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Rustenburg - The Bapo Ba Mogale royal family and its traditional community is upset that its land is being "infested" by migrant workers and job seekers, the Farlam Commission into the Marikana shooting heard on Tuesday.

"Lonmin had entered into a notarial lease with the Bapo Ba Mogale royal family... Wonderkop is a sub-community of Bapo Ba Mogale and falls in its jurisdiction," the royal family's lawyer Karabo Bareng Kgoroeadira said.

"Sadly, the Bapo Ba Mogale traditional community is struggling for basic rights such as water and sanitation."

She said these social struggles contributed to the "boil which has been simmering around the mines".

A notarial mineral lease, which is an obligation to pay royalties to the tribal authorities, was signed between the royal family and Lonmin platinum mine in the 1970s.

The commission, chaired by retired judge Ian Farlam, is tasked with establishing the cause of a shooting in which 34 striking Lonmin workers died and 78 were wounded when police opened fire while trying to disperse a group encamped on a hill in Nkaneng on August 16.

‘Community frustrated with Lonmin’

The workers had been carrying knobkerries, pangas, sticks and iron rods.

Workers at the mine went on strike on August 10, demanding a monthly salary of R12 500. Within four days, 10 people had been killed, two of them policemen and two of them security guards.

At the hearing on Tuesday, Kgoroeadira said the shooting had affected the traditional community.

"The Bapo Ba Mogale community is frustrated with Lonmin.

"Lonmin have been operating for a considerable period of time... without any regard for the social conditions [for those] on whose land they operate," she said.

It was because of Lonmin that there was a burden of informal settlements in the area.

Kgoroeadira said Lonmin had failed to meet its socio-economic obligations, which included infrastructure and job creation in the area, in terms of the mining charter.

"Lonmin is exploiting minerals that belong to the royal family and its traditional community," she said.

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Read more on:    lonmin  |  ian farlam  |  mahikeng  |  marikana inquiry  |  mining  |  mining unrest
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