ABORTED ROYAL BAFOKENG BANTUSTAN ELECTIONS UNLAWFUL

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Traditional Council Elections are statutory prescriptions regulated by legislation and conducted by accredited institutions.

Today’s RBN aborted elections were never published in the provincial gazette as required. The North West Provincial Department of Culture, Arts & Traditional Affairs, under whose competency and watch the election of Traditional Councils in the Province is entrusted, was probably unaware, or less interested.

It is indeed mind-boggling that RBN has never had duly conducted Traditional Council Elections since time immemorial.

Today’s aborted elections most probably cost poor Bafokeng citizens a couple of millions, money that could have been used towards upgrading dilapidated schools in the area.

Some company was appointed through the RBN tender system to conduct elections. How much was spent on the voting publication; voter registration; voter education; voting station preparation; voting monitors; ballot printing; security; can only be anyone’s guess.

Its unfortunate that Bafokeng Bantustan is somehow immune from Public Finance checks and balances. There is rampant wastage of public funds, usually followed by retrenchments and claims that the ‘tribe’ has no money.

This coming Thursday 29 June, there will be another unnecessary and wasteful case at the North West High Court endorsed by the Bafokeng chief in which the RBN seeks ownership and control of some platinum rich communal land already claimed by communities.

Should the Public Protector institute a Commission of Inquiry to investigate mismanagement of public funds, or will that be just another wasteful exercise?

See interesting Provincial tender:

Bid Number: RFP-CATA002/2017
Bid Description: Request for Proposal for the Appointment of a Service Provider with Electoral Expertise to Manage the Reconstitution of Traditional Councils
Name of Institution: Department of Culture, Arts & Traditional Affairs
Place where goods, works or services are required: North West Province
Date Published: 14/06/2017
Closing Date 30/06/2017 Time: 11H00
Enquiries:
Contact Person: Nobandile Madwanya
Email: nmadwanya@nwpg.gov.za
Telephone number: 018 388 3753
FAX Number: 086 263 4489

Robega Youth Day commemorated with a peaceful march demonstration

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Bafokeng Land Buyers’ Association, in collaboration with Robega Crisis Committee and Matseta-a-Robega commemorated June 16 public holiday by holding a peaceful march demonstration at Robega village just outside Sun City.

The aim of the march demonstration was to raise awareness about human rights issues affecting the youth in mine-hosting communities.

Robega Village, home to about 20 000 residents, is surrounded by Bafokeng Rasimone Mines; RBPlats and Bakubung Platinum mine shafts.

The host village, resident on the farm Boschkoppie 104JQ, has in the past ten years experienced a huge influx of migrant mine-labour due to mining developments in the area.

Mining developments have brought about increased community demands for social services including housing. Young, poverty stricken people are also prone to sacrificing their schooling and education to  find employment in the mines.

The march demonstration proceeded to Robega Community Hall, where a community meeting was held to address topical issues affecting the community.

It emerged from the meeting that the Royal Bafokeng Nation (‘RBN’) has been trying to wrest ownership and control of the Trust Land, said Boschkoppie 104JQ for some time and without success. Trust lands under the administration of the RBN including Tlapa, Tantanana, Maile and Robega refused in around 1996 to subscribe to the RBN chieftaincy. The communities are governed and administered by statutory Village Councils elected to office every five years. The RBN has for some time sought to impose itself over the communities by imposing headmen over the communities. This unwarranted action by the RBN is now before the North West High Court. The RBN approached the Court, much to the chagrin of the community and the BLBA, to have the farmland transferred and registered under its name.

Youth and parents were advised that ownership of land supersedes employment offers by the mines. And that it was important for parents not to be bribed and fall prey to employment opportunities brought about by mining, often done at huge cost to human rights and sustainable livelihoods.

Communities vowed to attend the North West High Court on the 29 June 2017 to go and defend their land against the RBN. They accuse the RBN and the Bafokeng chief as mere fronts and representatives of the brutal, exploitative mining complex in the area.

Visit:Evictions – Robega Community vs Royal Bafokeng Nation for an update on the case.

ROYAL BAFOKENG NATION vs TSITSING AND ROBEGA COMMUNITIES (Cases M420/16 and M28/17)

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Tsitsing and Robega communities will on the 29 June 2017 be appearing separately against the Royal Bafokeng Nation (‘RBN’) at the NW West High Court, Mafikeng. The two matters are related to the ongoing landmark case 999/08.

Tsitsing Community, represented by Matloga Attorneys, is challenging the RBN’s unilateral action to evict community members from residential stands duly allocated by Tsitsing Community’s Village Councils (makgotla). Without consulting its constituent communities, the RBN seeks to alter ancient customary practice of allocating residential land within Bafokeng communities. In the instance, the RBN seeks to confer unto itself: contested ‘land ownership’ status; and land-use powers over such land. As submitted before in the abovementioned case 999/08, individual Bafokeng communities are claiming independent ownership over said affected land, and have historically exercised independent authority and power over said land.

Robega Community, represented by the Legal Resources Centre, has for close to a century, been lawful occupiers of a State-owned farm Boschkoppie. The Community has lodged a land-rights claim on the land, now surrounded by Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s mining operations. The RBN’s Court application seeks transfer and ownership of the said land. Opposed by the Robega community, the said application has also not been ratified by the ‘tribe’ as recently directed by Judge Landman in case 999/08.

Failure to oppose the RBN in these two matters will have a devastating impact on the tenure rights and future livelihoods of communities under RBN’s jurisdiction. BLBA supports the said communities.

BLBA would greatly appreciate minimum R15 000.00 funding support to cover transportation (2x buses) to the Court hearing. We hope to transport at most 504 members (i.e. 8x buses) at a total cost of R60 000.00

BLBA INCENSED BY THE UNLAWFUL MPRDA AND ITS AMENDMENT PROCESS

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The MPRDA Amendment Bill was on the 20 April 2017, presented at the Rustenburg Civic Centre, to communities in the North West Province for input.

Bafokeng Land Buyers’ Association (‘BLBA’), an association of vulnerable mine-hosting rural communities under the jurisdiction of the Bafokeng Traditional Council, were not informed of the hearing, despite the hearing taking place within their area. The association has made numerous presentations before national and provincial Parliaments on human rights abuses suffered by mine-hosting communities in favour of mining profits and greed.

The Association had in February 2014 assisted the mine-hosting communities of Mogono and Maile to lodge a formal appeal against Impala Platinum Mine’s mining license. Impala, a South African company formed at the height of international sanctions against apartheid in South Africa, is still one of the top three platinum producing mining companies in the world. The company continue to exploit underground platinum minerals in the land occupied by the said mine-hosting communities, this done without due regard to damages and human rights abuses to both the communities and the environment.

It was opportune for BLBA to gate-crush the public hearing, and to raise community concerns about the MPRDA itself and the Amendment Bill in particular.

The Association has made its written submission on the Bill, and makes among others, the following recommendations:

  1. The distinction between mining communities, migrant mining communities and mine-hosting communities be made.
  2.  …. the office of the Regional Manager would better be placed within local government at local Municipalities, this to ensure close monitoring and speedy access and response to community concerns. As it is, mining companies and the Minister have divested their accountability to local communities and Municipalities affected by mining. We see this as a major impediment to justice as aforesaid.
  1. Mine-hosting communities should be compensated with the minimum prescribed 20% before permits or mining rights are granted or renewed.
  1. To that regard, MPRDA, in much the same way it provides for rehabilitation fund (a post-de-facto mechanism), must provide for an independent community driven mining impact assessment on the community and its environment. This should determine the baseline amount necessary for negotiations around compensation for future or past damages.
  1. Government should consider developing and facilitating supporting relations between benefitting mine-hosting community trusts and various organs of state such as the IDC for industrial investment and development in the affected communities.

Find the submission here: Bafokeng Land Buyers Association – Input into MPRDA Amendment Bill – North West Legislature-signed

Join Bafokeng Freedom march on Human Rights Day

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Let us march for our freedoms, our land and our right to free, clean water.

Join BLBA Freedom march on Human Rights Day 21 March 2017, 7:30 am at Royal Bafokeng Stadium.

The march will culminate into a general meeting at Kgale Primary School at 10am. R100 entrance at the General Meeting.

The best military/warfare tactic used by colonisers to capture Africans is to control and deprive them of their water resources (including dams, rivers and underground aquifers). In our poor and vulnerable rural villages, let us march against those oppressive, sell-out chiefs, who choose to be agents of colonialism and apartheid institutions (mining companies in particular, and white monopoly capital in general). These chiefs are content in helping imperialist captors keep Africans suffering, and at the mercy of these captors.