Threats from dam walls that may burst, poverty and degradation of the environment

Thabo Lerotholi Maluti Community Development Forum

Maluti Community Development Forum recently discovered that the Letseng Diamond Mine had constructed a slime dam on the Mine campus and that the dam poses a big threat and possible danger to the lives and properties of communities living downstream. At a meeting between the Mine and these communities in 2012 the mine informed the community of the threat and danger of the dam overflowing and the dam walls bursting. To deal with this threat, community members were identified to guard the dam 24/7, and they were given sirens and two way radios. Despite the threat to their lives no attempt has been made by the mine to relocate these communities. Attempts by the Maluti Community Development Forum to get the communities relocated have been in vain. Even the government Minister of Mining stood with the mine. Given this situation the Maluti Community Development Forum brought a court action against the mine. The court action is underway at present. Meanwhile the staff from the mine attacked the community and attempted to take hold of radios in an endeavour to destroy evidence that proves the danger posed by the dam wall. The community recaptured the radios and have kept these in safe custody so that the radios may be produced as evidence during court action.