Tunatazama - Community Monitors

Mines came; our livestock became weaker every day, now we watch them die

Community Alerts/Mathapelo/Limpopo/02 June 2017

On the 18-19th May I visited Morapaneng village this community resides between two shafts less than 1km away from one another, Hackney shaft and Twickenham shaft.

Mr Thobejane Morwamakoti is the +-90 year old man who owns of cattle, when I met him he started to tell me some sad stories. He also said it’s not like they don’t fight the mine the problem is the mine management don’t respect or consider them as people and when I asked him what is it that the mine is doing he said  ” We used to live here with your grandparents herding our livestock with no problem and we were making lot of money taking care of our family. ” and he also said since the mines came what he see is only the lost of everything that belongs to the community.

Mr Thobejane lost 7 cattle among that 7 2 were calves and in 2016 his cows miscarried a lot. And he believe that the problem is the water they drink from Motse that is being contaminated by the water from the mine stream, they don’t have a choice as Motse is the only river they have. Fortunately  their goats don’t go to the river  that’s why  they survive  because  Motse is far they buy water for the goats  and they always  come home  to drink but for their cattle they don’t  have a choice because the river is next to the grazing  land.

They no longer wash themselves at the river when they are at the field because they develop rush and the body start inching. And Mr Thobejane says if the mine can buy them Alan’s at Lolo where most of the cattle owners take their cows  because  there’s  fresh  water and enough grass for  grazing  they would happy and they will  make sure that they look after their  cattle  there.

Mr Segopotse also lost his cattle in 2014 July. One day he was at the field and realised that one of his cows was missing so he went to the stream with his brother luckily they found stuck in the mud, tried to pull it out but couldn’t. They both went to the mine security to ask for help and fortunately they came with mine Van and managed to pull it out of the stream but it was weak so they left it there, he would regularly visit the stream to see if it’s getting better but the cow was becoming weaker every day.  On the fourth day Mr Decompose decided to go with an axe to kill the cow, and found it was pregnant with brown and black calves. This situation made him angry because he just came back from Gauteng and with his pension money thinking that his father’s livestock will keep bread on the table for him and his brother, this loss made him more frustrated.

Mr Segopotse and his brother always take their cattle to Lolo mountain because they are not that old they manage to climb the mountain easily, they used to do so every winter and they come back when there grazing is there during August to September.  But since the mines started to operate the cattle are weak to climb the mountain and they just watch them die. By Mathapelo Limpopo-Sekhukhune