Land infested with migrant workers - lawyer

2012-10-23 13:11

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.

  • james.m.wood.773 - 2012-10-23 13:21

    Lonmin is exploiting minerals that belong to the royal family and its traditional community," she said. I propose that lonmin pack, remove all their equipment and fill the holes they have made and let them take the minerals for themselves! lonmin created 20 000+ jobs and are now being accused of not creating employment, wow the insanity of it all!

      jack.mabrigado - 2012-10-23 13:31

      A black investor will emerge and resume with mining activities,

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-10-23 13:46

      Investors all round the world are holding onto their money Jack! They want a safe place for their investments!

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-10-23 13:47

      The world isn't filled with an abundance of investors!! Also most investors are pension companies from other countries that want to invest other people's retirement funds wisely....

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-10-23 13:49

      You seem to know very little about how these things work!! Investors are not generally rich individuals, but more often are large investment companies, international banks, pension companies... The ANC is DRIVING away the money and investment!! The ANC are the reason why there is still so much poverty - a vote for the ANC is a vote for continued poverty, abysmal education, corruption, embarrassment in the world's eyes, strikes, ailing infrastructure etc! WAKE UP! We DO need foreign investors as mines cost a lot of money to run and maintain. Without foreign investment most of the mines would close and all those jobs lost. Government wouldn't have enough money to invest in the mines to nationalize them - there are only limited funds from 3.7 million tax payers, and already the government is borrowing more money than it has.. We need to attract more investors like Brazil has. Brazil has halved its poverty and its unemployment. I run a company that makes pumps and seals and I need an investor so I can move to a bigger site and employ 80 instead of 3. I have to buy new equipment as well and I need investors. Sadly an investor from Britain who sees potential in my company wants to wait and see if South Africa stabilizes or descends into a failed country. They won't risk their money unless things ate secure. They invest money on behalf of a pension company after all and they won't want to lose people's retirement money! We need to attract investment...

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-10-23 13:55

      Freedom of movement is a constitutional right. You can live where you want. It is not the primary responsibility of a mining company to supply water and housing. It may be part of their obligations. It is however government's duty under the constitution to do so with tax money that get from inter alia .... the mining companies!

      thandiwe.ngema.71 - 2012-10-23 14:10

      I have had discussions with a lawyer from a pension company, but they are not allowed to invest in my company as their regulations would prevent them from doing so if South Africa suffers a further downgrade. Sadly they feel that a further ratings downgrade is likely and therefore they want to wait and see how things are at the end of the tax year before deciding. They love my business model, potential for a strong return etc, but cannot invest in new projects in countries on negative watch BBB (S&P) as their regulations require them to only invest in companies based in countries rated BBB (neutral or positive) or above! If we can get the more sensible people like Manuel and Gordhan more power or preferably get an entirely new, competent party in power then perhaps things can change on the ground and I can get the investment and start employing 77 more people!!

      matshobana.siziba - 2012-10-23 14:15

      Ian Farlam, is tasked with establishing the cause of a shooting in which 34 striking Lonmin....can sm1 tell me how the F*&% are the families of the deseased helping in the investigation. To distort the report by inciting emotional blackmail and compromising the rationality of the process when they cry and collapse...Comeon

      bonge.mpofu - 2012-10-23 14:31

      Tandiwe, has brains.

      john.kirkwood.9619 - 2012-10-23 14:42

      @ thandiwe two well written comments that the simplest of people could understand, thanks and lets hope and pray that you get your investor, sa needs peole like you to take us foward

      Bruce - 2012-10-23 16:50

      @ Thandiwe..nice try but your view is distorted in that you paint international investors as not rich individuals, well the reality is that these investment houses are owned and controlled by very rich individuals and families. Secondly, you are hell bent on trying to convince us that international investors care about the stability of the country and the well-being of the people into which they invest, this too is a lie. In fact, the opposite much truer to reality, the more divided and unstable the country is the more the profit can be made..just look at Panama, the DRC and the delta niger region in Nigeria as a few examples of places where despite instability capitalists still make huge profits...I suggest you read 'An economic hit man' by John Perkins a former international economist, to rid yourself of the blinkers of western propaganda blinding you to the truth..lastly, trust me if your business made financial sense you wouldn't struggle to get backers. Perhaps, there are other internal factors scaring off investors from your business. Have you even considered that possibility yet?

      Iscariot - 2012-11-06 08:17

      •Sir.The history of South Africa has been one of extreme ambiguities – with a government system based on conditions of enforced non-development, economic and political oppression. now for her to make us aware that the system is violating the local community through leases that does not contribute - you suggest that the mine should pack, its wrong.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-10-23 13:26

    At least the migrant workers dont show up to work with pangas and kill police and security gaurds! They actually value having a job!!!!!

  • tumisang.kolobe - 2012-10-23 13:27

    Expropriation without compensation should be implemented.......the land belong to he masses

      karin.myburg - 2012-10-23 13:30

      And you belong to the devil

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-10-23 13:34

      Tell me 1 GOOd thing the masses have done to deserve everything for mahala? They gravy train is what you all want to be on-however unfortunately the gravy is nearly all evaporated!!!!

      tumisang.kolobe - 2012-10-23 13:35

      I would rather belong to the devil that be in same heaven with thieves and murderers who are unwilling to share in the minerals and land with other people.

      Andrea - 2012-10-23 13:46

      tumisang, talking trash about the ANC, are you?

      colin.dovey - 2012-10-23 13:55

      Troll Alert - ignore if you can - nothing of value added to an intelligent discourse.

      bullardx - 2012-10-23 13:55

      tumisang- Its quite difficult to compare heaven with theives an murdererd_ when theives and murderers belong with the devil. but since youd rather belong with the devil- then so be it:p

      andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-23 13:57

      @tumisang. As I read it; it belongs to the Bapo Ba Mogale royal family, not ??

      francois.smith.7 - 2012-10-23 14:35

      Tumisang, the minerals in the ground belongs to the people of SA - it WAS already nationalised. You have a share of it, the road on which you drove today was partially built by tax money that the owners of mines shared with the people of SA.

  • johan.pieters - 2012-10-23 13:27

    So, i'm confused. The minerals belongs to the The Bapo Ba Mogale community, not to the SA government? Since when?

      tumisang.kolobe - 2012-10-23 13:36

      Who is the government?i thought in a democractic state, the people shall govern and therefore indeed the land belongs to them.

      andrez.kolesky - 2012-10-23 14:02

      @tumisang the best question you've ever asked "Who is the government?"

      pieter.calitz - 2012-10-23 14:07

      @tumisang.kolobe. And then again South Africa is not a democracy, it is an Ochlocracy.

  • jack.mabrigado - 2012-10-23 13:29

    And as the people of Bapong, we never worried about the mines and their investments, we survive with what we have. I don't remember Lonmin doing us anything.

      Andrea - 2012-10-23 13:48

      if you survive with what you have, then why are you asking for infrastructure and job creation?

  • john.loveland.9 - 2012-10-23 13:32

    The scope of investigation into the massacre is far to broad. There are all sorts of issues arising which have nothing to do with the killings.

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-23 13:52

      Killing me softly with all the jokes and jokers.

  • JohnDough - 2012-10-23 13:45

    Where is the money that Lonmin is paying for the lease going to? Stop stealing dammit!

  • punungwe - 2012-10-23 13:46

    The xenophobia is never far below the surface, is it?

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-10-23 13:57

    Lonmin gave R500 million to local goverment to build houses and a community and to date nothing has happened. Mr Zuma said all avenues were being looked at and named the areas. So ANC what gives?????

      kenpeg.dawson - 2012-10-23 14:03

      That is where you are totally wrong. They did build houses. For themselves including holiday houses on the coast.

      terrylee.heuer - 2012-10-23 14:05

      And when he visited the mine just after the shooting he threatened Lonmin of losing their licence if they didn't start upgrading accommodation!!!

      Bruce - 2012-10-23 14:28

      @Ingrid, do u care to elaborate further on this R500 million windfall you claim the local government received from lonmin? When was this money paid? And which local government was it? Municipal or provincial government?

      Bruce - 2012-10-23 15:24

      Turns out R500 million was indeed paid to the coffers of the provincial government...what you neglect to mention is that this money was intended for housing for lonmin employees, and NOT the surrounding community on whose land lonmin is mining...whether or not the money was used for what it was intended for is not clear but one thing is certain Lonmin management seems to have thrown a little money at the problem of employee accommodation and hoped the issue would go away..let's not forget that most of the miners are not from marikana, and that most of that land is tribal land..Government can't build house on the land they do simply imply the money was stolen is to demonstrate your lack of understanding of the issues at play in Marikana but don't feel bad most white people and black elites don't. Viva the Revolution!

  • ingrid.oberholzer - 2012-10-23 13:59

    Local Government wanted to do the housing themselves and not let Lonmin take charge of the project os where's the money????

  • Iscariot - 2012-11-06 08:14

    As a result of the historic past, the previously disadvantaged communities in the rural Marikana Bapo Ba Mogale community have also inherited a legacy characterized by stunted development, abject poverty, no provision of social amenities and deficiencies in the development of community social development. This is evident that the mining charter and the department of minerals and resources have contributed to the exploitation of the local community. She is right.

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