South Africa: Bidding Farewell to the Gods As Village Makes Way for Mine

analysis

A rural community in Limpopo, at odds with mining giant Anglo for more than a decade, has finally moved in ground-breaking deal.

Christina Matjiu and her children took turns kneeling in the centre of their homestead -- making offerings of tobacco, sorghum beer and snuff on the cow dung-coated floor.

"Eeeeeh... this is me, your daughter-in-law. I am informing you that we are leaving now. We are going away. Do not be surprised if you don't find us here anymore. We are taking you with us to our new home... " the elder said in Sepedi, speaking in a slow, melancholic voice as she made the offering to the gods, pouring beer on the floor from a calabash.

It was early December and Matjiu had risen much earlier than usual to lead her family in a sacred ceremony...

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