White Monopoly Capital responsible for death of Zama Zamas in Eland Shaft Mine

White Monopoly Capital responsible for death of Zama Zamas in Eland Shaft Mine

Black First Land First (BLF) is saddened by the death of the more than 29 Zama Zama miners killed in an underground explosion in the Eland Shaft Mine last week. We offer our sincerest condolences to the families and friends of the departed.

We note how the white media has reported the deaths as those of illegal miners coming mainly from Mozambique and Zimbabwe. Here we see the anti blackness of white supremacy in its dismissal of those who cannot vote in parliamentary elections to maintain the racist capitalist status quo.

The death toll of Zama Zamas is tragic and unacceptable. A reflection indicates that in June 2009, 91 Zama Zamas died when a fire broke out underground in the same Eland Shaft Mine . Moreover, from 2012 to 2015, approximately 312 miners were killed while conducting their work. This includes 86 miners who died in the Harmony Gold mine in 2012, 29 miners who were killed in various mine shafts in early September 2015, and five more miners who were found dead outside the Grootvlei mine in Gauteng. The deaths last week of over 29 Zama Zamas in Eland Shaft mine in Welkom, adds to the already huge death toll. The white monopoly capitalist mining houses, such as Harmony Gold, who have been hellbent on eliminating the Zama Zamas instead of recognizing them, are in fact responsible for all these deaths. It must be stated that the Eland Shaft mine was previously owned by the Harmony Gold company.

Mining which is generally unsafe for miners – due to methods characterized by racialised and colonized mining, as well as the fact that gold mines in this country are the deepest and the most dangerous internationally – is compounded for the Zama Zamas who are forced to use explosives to blast rocks in order to extract the gold, without any safety, health and communications measures in place.

Furthermore many Zama Zamas have died as a result of police and private security brutality as well as other forms of dehumanization (unleashed by the white mining houses) such as landlessness, inadequate housing and lack of sanitation.

BLF condemns the criminalization by white monopoly capital of mining conducted by the Zama Zamas. We reiterate that the Zama Zamas are the only politically legitimate miners in South Africa (SA). We call for an end to the over 150 years of racialised and colonized mining that serves to perpetuate slavery. This situation will continue unless the root cause of the problem, being white monopoly capital which in turn is the practical operation of white supremacy, is destroyed.

A BLF delegation has been deployed to the Welkom area today to, amongst other things, render assistance to the families of the deceased in particular and to the Zama Zama community in general. BLF stands in solidarity with the cause of the Zama Zamas.

BLF calls for the following:

– reparations to the families of the Zama Zamas killed in the Eland Shaft Mine

– Zama Zamas to get legal standing and recognition;

– Zama Zamas to be regularized

– Zama Zamas to get the necessary subsidization, and;

– Zama Zamas to get the necessary health, safety, communications and security protection.

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE OF THE BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST MOVEMENT (BLF NCC)

20 May 2017

Black First Land First Email:blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com
Facebook: Black First Land First
Twitter: @black1stland1st
Website: www.blf.org.za

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27799867225

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Brian Tloubatla
(Deputy National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 82 216 7664

BLF says – defend land occupations in wards 94 and 97, Khayelitsha

Black First Land First Western Cape (BLF-WC), in solidarity with the Mandela Park Backyarders calls on the black majority to come and defend the land occupation currently underway in Khayelitsha. As of Friday, the 19th of May 2017, backyarders living in Khayelitsha have occupied unused land in the area. Councilors of wards 94 and 97 (Mngxunyeni and Ndila) have failed to realize government’s promises to construct houses for the backyarders living in these wards.

A backyarder is an individual who has lived, without permission from the state, in a particular settlement since the formation of said settlement. In the case of the Mandela Park Backyarders, the current MEC for Human Settlements in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament, Mr Bonginkosi Madikizela has not delivered on promises of housing since 2011. However, rather than assist in the acquisition of land and housing rights, the MEC has been persecuting backyarders through the destruction of housing, the eviction of backyarders and the use of local councilors as ‘pawns against the community’.

BLF-WC recognizes that landlessness remains a construct of white land thieves, who continue to own 90% of the land as settlers. BLF-WC further recognizes that the African National Congress (ANC)–led government nationally and the Democratic Alliance (DA)- led government provincially have both been unwilling to fast-track the return of stolen land without compensation and thus maintains the black majority as a landless dispossessed people in the country of their birth, from womb to tomb.

BLF-WC, calls on the ANC-led government to heed the call by President Jacob Zuma, who said in his State of the Nation Address, that the land must be returned to the black majority without payment for it.

BLF-WC further calls on all provincial, and national structures interested in radical economic transformation through land redistribution, as well as the expropriation of land without compensation, to join in the building of homes for the dispossessed backyarders of Khayelitsha without delay.

What is required is physical labor (such as building material, food and blankets) as well as financial and legal resources or any other help that may be regarded as useful. It serves instructive to mention that the ages of the occupants range from as young as 2 years old to middle age.

The land occupation program is currently underway between the Khayelitsha court and the Chuma Primary School in Mandela Park, Khayalitsha. It is also being conducted in two other communities. We welcome any support. Every bit will count!

To offer your assistance, including in the form of donations, please contact Thandolwethu Aba: 061 710 0166, or Lerato Sitlaba: 071 919 5164. This is an urgent call.

We thank you in advance.

ISSUED BY THE PROVINCIAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE (PCC) OF BLACK FIRST LAND FIRST – WESTERN CAPE (BLF-WC)

20 May 2017

Contact Details

Email: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com
Facebook: BlackFirstLandFirst
Twitter: @black1stland1st
Website: www.blf.org.za

Ncedisa Mpemnyama
(BLF WC Convenor)
Cell: +27 73 110 0334

Luxolo Ndlovu
(BLF WC Coordinator)
Cell: +27 81 898 9179

 

Extracts from BLF political education induction documents – reading lists

Extracts from BLF political education induction documents – reading lists

Let’s study to fight

In the current national black waves recruitment program – towards the National Land Imbizo that will be held on 27 May 2017 in Mofolo Park, Soweto – two main areas of politics is generating a lot of interest, namely: the political orientation of the movement; and the question of who is black. The following are extracts from political education induction documents of BLF that speak to the areas of interest.

The Philosophical and Ideological perspective of BLF

The BLF is a black consciousness movement, inspired by Robert Sobukwe, Steve Biko and Thomas Sankara. We seek a synthesis of the revolutionary ideas of Sobukwe (his radical Pan Africanism), Biko (his black consciousness) and Sankara as a practical elaboration of people’s power. These three revolutionaries cement the overall ideological orientation of our movement.

Reading list:

Sobukwe’s speeches
Biko’s 1972 interview
Biko’s “White Skin, Black Souls”
Thomas Sankara the upright man (Film)
Chinweizu “Black Colonialists: the root of the trouble with Africa”

Who is black?

The key question that defines our movement is: WHO IS BLACK? In this regard the BLF accepts the definition provided by Steve Biko. Every member is required to read the documents listed below.The relationship between our position being black and the fact of racism and white supremacy is a fundamental question for our movement. Studying these documents should give a member an understanding of the following:

Black as a political identity
Why black solidarity is important
Identifying who is black
The characteristics of a non white
What is racism?

Reading list:

Steve Biko’s “definition of black consciousness”
Steve Biko’s “Quest for True Humanity”
SASO Policy Manifesto
Andile Mngxitama’s “Black Can’t be Racist!”
BLFs statement, “peace amongst blacks, war to the enemy”

20 May 2017

Issued By Black First Land First (BLF)
National Secretariat for Political Education

Contact details

Black First Land First Email:blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com
Facebook: Black First Land First | Twitter: @black1stland1st
Website: www.blf.org.za
National Secretary for Political Education: Neo Mokatsanyane
Cell number: 0814167288
Email: neomokatsanyane@gmail.com

Zama Zamas win appeal in High Court against evictions in Kimberley

On Friday 12 May 2017 the Northern Cape High Court delivered judgement in an appeal brought before it on behalf of some 842 artisanal miners against an eviction order previously obtained by the South African Sweden Housing Company. The appeal was upheld and the eviction order set aside on the basis of no clear right to the property being established by the said South African Sweden Housing Company. While the eviction order related to the evacuation of 842 Zama Zamas, the number of artisanal miners actually affected is about 8000.

This is a huge victory for the miners who have constituted themselves as the Kimberley Artisanal Mine Workers (Zama Zamas) and have been engaged in a struggle against racialized and colonised mining as well as for land and housing.

As a precursor to the Northern Cape High Court case, the Zama Zamas marched to the HAWKS on Wednesday and instituted criminal proceedings against the relevant mining houses. To this end a case was opened against Ekapa Minerals (Pty) Ltd, Crown Resources (Pty) Ltd, Kimberley Ekapa Mining Joint Venture, and Super Stone Mining (Pty) Ltd for illegally mining without the relevant mining permits in certain areas in Kimberley including Kenilworth, Samaria, Greenpoint, and Greenside They also demanded that the same parties be brought to book on charges of theft of the mining equipment belonging to the Chaiperson of the Kimberley Artisanal Mine Workers, Lucky Seekoei, and 5 others. The Zama Zamas were joined in solidarity action by the BLF, unemployed people, the Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) and civil society organisations.

Proceeding from the HAWKS they marched to the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) and Economic Affairs where they handed over a memorandum of demands which included 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.

BLF applauds the resilience of the Zama Zamas in their just struggle, including to work and trade and for land, against the white monopolistic mining houses. Irrespective of any court or other action to remove them, the guide to action for the artisanal miners 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 not going anywhere else – their right to work and trade and to the land is supreme!

Issued by the National Coordinating Committee of Black First Land First (BLF NCC)

14 May 2017

Contact details

Black First Land First Email: blackfirstlandfirst@gmail.com
Facebook: Black First Land First
Twitter: @black1stland1st
Website: www.blf.org.za

Zanele Lwana
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27799867225

Lindsay Maasdorp
(National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 79 915 2957

Brian Tloubatla
(Deputy National Spokesperson)
Cell: +27 82 216 7664