Tribe demands environmental responsibility

Elisha Molefe

The management of Larfarge South Africa was lambasted by members of the Barolong bo Tau-Rapulane tribe at Bodibe village in the North West for taking their lives for granted.

This was after police divers from Potchefstroom had removed the body of a man estimated to be aged between 40 and 45 from a water-filled quarry on Tuesday morning.

Larfarge, the largest cement producer in Africa, has been mining lime at Bodibe for the past 33 years.

During this time, residents allege, the company has operated a number of quarries but has left them unrehabilitated when they were no longer worked.

Richard Funeka, spokes man of the Tau-Rapulane tribe, said: "We had discussions with the company numerous times, but it seems they do not put much effort into rehabilitating those quarries."

Funeka said the quarry in which the unknown man had apparently drowned was on the demarcated property of the company.

A Larfarge security officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Sowetan that he was patrolling the dam when he saw something floating. On closer inspection he realised it was a person.

The security officer alleged that the unrehabilitated quarries had claimed the lives of four people in three years.

Lebogang Mokgothu, of the Itsoseng police, said an inquest case had been opened.

"We urge anyone who has information to contact me on 083-763-1090," Mokgothu said.