Minister warns of dubious lawyers

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica yesterday warned Limpopo communities to be wary of people "posing" as human rights lawyers, while all they wanted to do was to rip them off.

She was speaking during the community celebration hosted by mining giant Nkwe Platinum at Steelpoort township outside Burgersfort.

The event was attended by various chiefs in the Sekhukhune area and thousands of people.

Sonjica was referring to several incidents where communities had started protesting against mining operations taking place in their areas, accusing the companies of not developing the areas.

"There are people going around claiming to be lawyers representing the interests of communities.

"But those people do not first consult with the people to find out what their interests are," she said.

According to Nkwe Platinum's managing director, Maredi Mphahlele, the envisaged capital expenditure was R15billion, which would lead to the creation of an estimated 10000 jobs.

"But we have noted that there are poisonous elements within communities contaminating other people about mining operations.

"We will do our best to ensure that we empower communities and also develop them," he said.