By BO Staff Writer
The following article was previously published on the BLF website on 14 September 2017 and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
Black First Land First (BLF) supports the legitimate demands of the artisanal miners (Zama Zamas) – being members of the Mining Affected Communities United in Action (Macua) and Kimberley Artisanal Mine Workers (KAMW), many of whom are members and supporters of BLF – in their struggle against the racialized and colonized mining regime and practices as well as for decent housing and land.
We condemn in the strongest terms the indiscriminate attacks on the artisanal miners as well as the targeting of its leaders by police and private security at the insistence of the white mining houses led by Ekapa Minerals (Pty) Ltd (Ekapa) which resulted in several miners being injured yesterday while engaged in struggle against the white mining houses. Furthermore two members of its core leadership structure namely, Lucky Seekoei and Tebogo Taku were arrested yesterday on bogus charges. They are currently out on bail and have been subjected to harsh anti black bail conditions.
On 10 May this year the Zama Zamas marched to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and Economic Affairs and submitted a memorandum of demands. To this end they called, amongst other things, for an end to all evictions, interdicts on mining, police and private security violence, as well as to be regularized; to get the necessary subsidization; and to be given legal recognition for operations over the floors. To date none of their demands have been met.
The Zama Zamas also instituted criminal proceedings on 10 May against Ekapa Minerals (Pty) Ltd, Crown Resources (Pty) Ltd, Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture; and Super Stone Mining (Pty) Ltd for mining illegally without mining permits in Kenilworth, Samaria, Greenpoint, Greenside and other areas in Kimberley. Charges of theft of the mining equipment belonging to the Chaiperson of the Kimberley Artisanal Mine Workers, Lucky Seekoei, and 5 others were also opened against the perpetrators. The Zama Zamas have received no justice for the criminal prosecutions it has asked to be instituted.
Notwithstanding this, the Zama Zamas have remained resilient in their just struggle against the white monopolistic mining houses. They have said with one voice that irrespective of any court or other action to remove them, their guide to action is that all the land in South Africa, including the minerals beneath and on it, belongs to black people and not to the white criminal mining houses.
The Zama Zamas are determined to stay right here in Kimberley and to exercise their right to work and trade, and to the land.
On Saturday, the message of Biko’s black consciousness – which carries both a program and method of revolution for land, including mineral wealth – will be brought to bear upon the situation of the Zama Zamas in Kimberley so as to guide the way forward. BLF President Andile Mngxitama will be addressing the mining communities and residence of Kimberley on 16 September 2017, starting at 12 PM in Boshoff Street, Samaria. Everyone’s invited!
Land or Death!
Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)
14 September 2017
Black First Land First Email:[email protected]
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(Deputy National Spokesperson)
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