By BO Staff Writer
The following statement was previously published in the Black First Land First website and is now reissued by Black Opinion:
Black First Land First (BLF) celebrates the progressive victory of the Zama Zama artisanal miners in Kimberley on obtaining the necessary permits for mining from the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) after a protracted struggle in this regard. This follows a deal concluded with the Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture (KEM-JV) which now allows the Kimberley Artisanal Miners (most of who are BLF members) to go ahead and mine for diamond residue on land they were previously prohibited from mining on. To this end the Zama Zamas have been given mining dumps to the extent of at least one thousand hectares on which they can now mine without being victimized by the state and private security companies.
BLF honors the Zama Zama miners for their resilience as well as for the gains that they have made via the revolutionary leadership of their Chairperson, Comrade Lucky Seekoei.
BLF has long maintained that the Zama Zamas are the only legitimate miners in the country and that it is the likes of DeBeers who are illegal land thieves. Nearly one year ago, on 10 May, the Zama Zama miners supported by BLF, marched to DMR and called for “an end to all evictions, interdicts on mining, police and private security violence, the industry to be regularized; to get the necessary subsidization; and to be given legal recognition for operations over the floors.” BLF maintains this call.
We further point out that the struggle beyond this victory, including for the total return of the stolen land (its the mineral resources included) and for the Zama Zamas to be covered by the Mining Charter in furtherance of implementing Radical Economic Transformation, continues. Salutations to the Kimberley Artisanal Miners!
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee of (BLF NCC)
5 May 2018
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