1 February 2018

South Africa: Stealing the Crust - How the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela Were Robbed of Their Inheritance


Under the land that belongs to the Bakgatla Ba Kgafela lie the richest platinum deposits on Earth. But a toxic alliance between government, traditional chieftaincy and major mining houses has stood between the community and its wealth. Could this be the largest state-sanctioned, business-perpetrated fraud in the history of Big Mining in South Africa? By KEVIN BLOOM & SASHA WALES-SMITH.

I. The Great Diversion

Motlhabe, a village of around 3,000 people in North West, is a settlement from where it is possible, if the wind is right, to inhale thick clumps of dust from the rock waste dump of the Pilanesberg Platinum Mine, one of the most lucrative open-cast mines on earth. The village is located on the western fringe of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, a two-billion-year-old geological phenomenon that contains up to 90% of the world's known reserves of platinum group metals, or PGMs, being palladium, ruthenium, rhodium, osmium, iridium and platinum itself.

Photo: Bridgeman Sojane, general secretary of the BBKCPA, points to the farms on Bakgatla land that are being mined for the benefit of "outsiders". Photo: Daniel Born

Motlhabe's traditional headman, a destitute man in his early 50s named Mmuthi Pilane, believes that these two facts add...

South Africa

The State Capture Inquiry - What You Need to Know

The much anticipated judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, the Guptas, former president Jacob Zuma and his… Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Daily Maverick. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 700 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.