Violent protests in Limpopo community after chiefs sign mining deal

Violent protests in Limpopo community after chiefs sign mining deal

- Tensions over land have flared up in a Limpopo community after traditional leaders agreed to a mining deal

- Some locals say they were not consulted before the deal was done

- This has led to violent protests and infighting in the area

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A mine connected to businessman and friend of Julius Malema, Adriano Mazzotti, has been blamed for infighting and violence within a rural Limpopo community.

According to investigations conducted by amaBunghane, the community's traditional leaders are alleged to have agreed to an unfair deal with the mining company. 

These traditional leaders and the mine executives are accused of operating illegally in the area.

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Dithabeng Mining, which is owned by Mazzotti, claims that it consulted the community before beginning mining operations in Ga-Mphahlele region of Limpopo, has gathered. They maintain that they held a meeting to discuss the matter which was attended by more than 800 community members.

Additionally, they say that consensus was reached at this meeting giving the go-ahead to the mining project.

However, some community members argue that this was not the case. They say they were barely consulted at all, and that the mining company came to an agreement almost exclusively with traditional leaders, according to News24.

In particular, some locals claim that this deal was a "power grab" by traditional leaders which did not benefit the community.

This is problematic, as chiefs and traditional leaders do not actually have the power to sign away land rights without first getting the community's approval, says lawyer, Johan Lorenzen.

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As a result, some locals are angry about the mining deal. They say their families have used the land for farming and other uses for generations and that they have customary rights to it. 

This has reportedly led to tensions and violent protests in the area.

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