Crime Busters of SA: farm murders 2001-2003
Solidarity trade union: - list of farm murders
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- A Stuijt
- Retired South African medical journalist, ex-Sunday Times of Johannesburg.
5 June 2009. The Hague, The Netherlands. Controversial Dutch anti-jihadist MP Geert Wilders and his Party for Freedom have caused an upset in the Dutch European Parliamentary elections. Standing on a platform which is promising to ‘get the Dutch out of the European Parliament’s stranglehold’ Wilders PVV-party became the big winner, gaining 4 of the 25 seats of the Dutch contingent in the European Parliament.
The big loser is the Dutch Labour Party, dropping from 7 seats to 3. The Dutch co-ruling coalition Christian-Democratic Party of prime minister Balkenende also dropped two seats -- from seven to five.
This was the first time Wilders’ party had put up any candidates for the EP-election, and they ran a strong campaign with only one message: ‘Take the stranglehold of European Parliamentary-power back from Brussels, and bring it back to The Netherlands.’ He especially wants the Dutch to have the right to close their borders to any more immigration from islamic countries.
The multi-lingual Dutch have 25 seats in the European Parliament and in the past, have always formed coalitions with like-minded politicians from other European countries. Wilders said however that he was against forming a coalition with any other political power block – instead he wants to run his party’s four new EP-seats independently.
He's very much against Turkey joining the European Union – as this would form a huge islamic power-block of at least 50-million new European voters. He is not advocating leaving the Euro-zone nor the European Economic Union, he wants to keep the euro and the EU – which is an economic cooperation bloc rather than a parliament -- but he also most definitely wants to reduce the now increasingly centralised powers of the European Parliament and its massively bloated, costly bureaucracy.
If National elections were to be held now, Wilders’ party would be the country’s second-largest after the co-ruling Christian-Democratic Party (CDA) of Dutch prime minister Jan-Peter Balkenende -- whose CDA-party representation in the EP has dropped from seven seats to 5 seats. The liberal VVD party drops from 4 seats to 3 seats, the Greens grow from one seat to 3, the Democrats-66 party gain two seats, bringing their representation to three seats, while the Christian-Union and the Socialist Parties remained stable at two seats. The Labour Party was the big loser, dropping from 7 to 3 seats.
The Dutch and the British held their EP-elections on Friday, the rest of Europe is following suit throughout the weekend.
What was notable and got left-wing politicians very down in the mouth was that most of the new Wilders’ voters came from the left and liberal-centre of the Dutch political spectrum: the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) lost the most voters’ support in this very dramatic blood-letting, from 23.6% of the country’s voters’ support to 13,9%. dropping to three seats from their original seven in the European Parliament.
No coalition with Geert Wilders, say socialists:
The Dutch use a proportional representative electoral system and usually form coalitions from the largest parties. However the CDA and the Labour party have already publicly and very adamantly ruled out ever wanting to ‘co-rule’ with Geert Wilders’ party, their leaders told voters during the election campaign.
Wilders warned yesterday after his massive win that this negative and very undemocratic attitude from opposition parties ‘would cause even more voters to move to the PVV.’
We broke through the left-wing ‘cordon sanitaire’:
'A great many voters have broken through the left-wing ‘cordon sanitaire’ today,’ Wilders was quoted as saying. “The voters have now made the PVV the second-largest party in The Netherlands.
Wilders campaigns under 24-hour security:
Wilders had to campaign while also under 24-hour security because a Fatwa, an islamic order to kill him, was issued against him because of his public anti-jihadist stance. His security contingent has to pre-screen everyone who attends public party meetings, and his public appearances are carefully-guarded events.
The biggest loser was the Dutch prime minister’s co-ruling coalition partner, the Labour Party, which has always been a staunch supporter of the ‘European Parliament’, as is the prime minister himself. Observers pointed out yesterday that many of the prime-minister’s own Christian-Democratic party members in his own home town of Capelle aan de IJssel weren’t even voting for him any longer: the town voted overwhelmingly for Wilders.
Wilders wants to hold a referendum to demonstrate that the Dutch people are as much against the Lisbon Treaty as they were against the European Constitution – he wants to get the political power, now centered in Brussels, back to The Netherlands.
The Labour Party’s fraction-chairwoman Mariette Hamer commented that ‘we have booked a devastating loss. I believe that the fact that the PVV has won, also is sending a strong message, namely that many people feel uncertain, insecure and have worries,’ she added. “We in the labour party have clearly been unable to take away these uncertainties.’
Anti-jihadist MP with a strong message
Wilders was in the United States in February 2009, invited by the Republican Whip in the Senate Jon Kyl to show his short anti-jihadist film Fitna in a screening for American lawmakers at the Capitol building. See Fitna here
The film cites passages from the Qu’ran while showing actual Islamic terror acts, taken from jihadist videos. Kyl sponsored the event. The parliamentarian from the Netherlands had earlier that month, still been denied entry to the United Kingdom’s House of Lords because British authorities claimed that he 'posed a threat to public order.' see
Wilders’ film has also inspired a worldwide debate on the freedom of speech. Just before his visit to the USA, Wilders also was awarded the Oriana Fallaci Free Speech award in Rome, Italy. see
Dutch political elite are blind to the reality around them, says Wilders: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/013319.html
Dutch Prime Minister’s hometown voters voted for Wilders’ party: http://www.telegraaf.nl/binnenland/4088846/__PVV_grootste_in_woonplaats_premier__.html
10% of South Africa’s annual yield of 50,000kg of gold is hacked illegally from mine-shafts by armed gold-piracy gangs called Zama-Zamas, and the bullion sold to Chinese crime syndicates…
June 6 2009 - South African mining group Harmony Gold suspended 122 workers on suspicion of helping criminal miners at the 1,4-km deep. disused Eland mine where a fire killed at least 76 illegal gold-diggers this week, the SAPA news agency reported.
Pictured left to right are South African police constable David Hlobo, five arrested illegal miners or Zamas, all from Lesotho, and police inspector Velaphi Dlamini on the right. The Odendaalsrus police were proud of arresting this gang inside a working mine-shaft at a local gold-mine during a raid. Chinese triads provide the guns and pay for the looted gold, thus posing huge dangers to mining operations. See http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/265104
Several thousand kilometres of deep gold-mine shafts in a 250km radius:
The problem of illegal mining started in South Africa from about 1999, industry leaders say. The country has some of the oldest and deepest goldmines in the world – an underground warren in a 250km radius, with deep, dark tunnels stretching several thousand kilometres across two provinces -- from Johannesburg to Welkom. Some of these gold-mines are so old that they are unmapped and no longer have any registered owners at all. Anton van Achterbergh, a legal adviser at the Chamber of Mines, which represents Harmony, Gold Fields en AngloGold-Ashanti, described the problem as follows:
“The area between Johannesburg and Welkom is like Swiss cheese. We’re talking about a few thousand kilometres of tunnels underground. (This is) a problem that the whole industry faces, specifically gold, because it can be mined fairly easily.”
“Gold theft has been occurring for many years, so we are constantly vigilant,” said Gold Fields [NYSE:GFI] spokesman Andrew Davidson. The mining giant has a special unit working undercover to flush out the gold-mine pirates, called Zama-Zamas in South Africa. Harmony Chief Executive Officer, Graham Briggs said: "We continue to address the issue of criminal mining on a daily basis, together with the South African Police Services, the Department of Justice, the National Prosecuting Authority and other affected mining companies." Initiatives instituted by Harmony, Briggs said, include: tightened security at shaft heads; daily search operations underground; and improved access control measures.
South Africa’s Business News publication said about 10 percent of the gold mined in South Africa is stolen.
- A 2006 study by the Institute for Security Studies found moreover, that 41% of the gold thieves were mine employees and that 56% were unemployed. South Africa has seen a dramatic rise in illegal underground mining since 1999, where such illegal miners stay underground for long periods of time, obtaining food and goods from legitimate miners. Miners ‘work without pay’ at Pamodzi Gold
- In 2006, the SA Police Service very actively targeted underground gold smugglers in the Randfontein and Welkom areas and there were some very dramatic gunfights between the undermanned police and the criminal gangs of Zamas in the deep, dangerous mineshafts that year. see
Safety Meeting 3-4 July, Boksburg:
The government-alligned, 320,000-member National Union of Mineworkers -- which is directly blaming the gold-mine comglomerates and the absent previous owners of such disused mine tunnels for ‘allowing the illegal gold-miners access’ -- is holding a safety meeting (‘indába”) on July 3 and 4 at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg with safety shaft stewards from mines across the country. It will be addressed by the government’s Chief Inspector of Mines, Thabo Gazi and other top officials. http://www.num.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=362&Itemid=84
Urgent inquiry demanded by trade union:
And on June 5 2009 in PRETORIA, Solidarity trade union's legal counsel and head of its Occupational Health and Safety section, advocate Paul Mardon, picture left, also wrote a letter to the Minister of Mining, asking him to appoint an urgent commission to 'address the crisis of the illegal mining activities in South Africa'.
Sowetan’s journalist Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi - also reports that Minerals and Energy Affairs Minister Susan Shabangu has also vowed to ‘smash these gold gangs’, issuing this promise while visiting the Eland gold-mine shaft where at at least 90 illegal gold-miners died in a mysterious fire last week.
Solidarity trade union warns that these Zama-Zamas, gold-mining pirates, are creating extremely dangerous working conditions for legitimate miners. Their demand for an urgent probe comes directly from their membership, as many legitimate miners now face these added dangers in addition to the already dangerous conditions caused by mining so deep underground. The National Union of Mineworkers however, accuses the mining companies of ‘lax security’ at these hundreds of disused mines, claiming the owners or previous owners should be held responsible for the deaths of the illegal miners.
In 2006, an Institute for Security Studies’ report estimated that at least R500-million‘s ($50-million) or ten percent of the country’s annual gold bullion production was being looted and smuggled from the country by Chinese crime syndicates. Similar activities are also occurring at the platinum mines. And since that time, the problem has escalated considerably.
- South Africa’s official annual gold production dropped below 50,000 kg last year and the latest industry-estimates are that at least 10% of this gold is smuggled abroad by crime syndicates.
Often, the Zama-Zamas remain below ground for months, helped by legitimate miners, according to the Institute for Security Studies. The smuggled gold-bearing ore is cracked with chemicals in the backyards of mining hostels, smelted down in illegal smelters and the bullion sold to Chinese crime syndicates. Police occasionally carry out raids of these gold-cracking and smelting sites, which are pretty obvious from the air and the ground because of the huge amount of chemical waste they dump in the local surface water.
- Mardon writes that the investigation should be all-encompassing, and include all the factors which 'allow these illegal activities to continue'. The probe should also include the Zama-Zamas’ negative economic impact on the economy, and which steps could be taken by the authorities to stop these gold-mine pirates, Mardon writes.
He heads the trade union's Occupational Health and Safety section.
Gold-miners risk their lives at cut-price wages while gold-bullion prices soar:
This current alarming growth of this army of underground Zama-Zamas can however also be directly contributed to another important factor: South African gold-miners, who are doing the most dangerous jobs in the world’s deepest and oldest mines, are also paid some of the lowest wages on record. But with unemployment rampant in South Africa, the gold-mining comglomerates know that they can continue to exploit their workers this way. But the resentment among skilled mineworkers towards their employers also is growing daily – mainly because the gold-mining conglomerates are earning huge profits from the soaring guld-bullion prices.
Deep resentment of employers also creates Zama-Zamas…
The South African gold-mining industry itself thus also creates deep resentment, distrust and growing poverty and destitution among its own workforce. This workforce is indeed becoming very strongly motivated to at least give the Zama-Zamas a helping hand, and it is seen that even the most experienced gold-miners are beginning to join the Zama-Zamas, just to put food on the table for their starving families.
Picture: These miners and their families are literally starving: food-aid projects by Solidarity trade union’s Helping Hand organisation have been in place since November last year for these 4,000 totally destitute miners and their families at Pamodzi Gold mines which, claim its owners, are in ‘such serious financial problems’ that these 4,000 miners haven’t been paid properly since February 2009, according to a Sowetan newspaper report and the two trade unions. These miners are almost being forced to become Zama-Zamas just to keep their families alive and a roof over their heads each day...
Yet while producing less and despite this massive security problem due to the looting by the Zama-Zamas’ underground piracy-army, the gold-mining comglomerates earn higher profits than ever before -- because the Gold Bullion prices which are fixed in London each day continue to rise and are expected to break the $1,000 per ounce ceiling this year.
Chamber of Mines offers an insulting 6% wage increase offer – with 8.4% inflation and a gold-bullion price of nearly $1,000 per ounce…
Last week, the Chamber of Mines, representing the three top gold-producers Harmony, Gold Fields and AngloGold-Ashanti, still dared to offer a deeply insulting 6% wage increase to these grossly underpaid gold-mine workers while the gold bullion price fixed in London continues to soar towards the unprecedented $1,000 per troy-ounce level.
- This offer was firmly rejected by South Africa's leading trade unions for mineworkers, Solidarity and the National Union of Mineworkers, on June 5 2009. South Africa's annual inflation rate is 8.4.% -- according to the latest Consumer Price Index. Thus any wage increases should be higher than the inflation rate - otherwise workers would effectively be offered pay-cuts, their spokesmen have pointed out.
"The gold mines financial results show that they still performed well because of the high gold-bullion price," Kleynhans, spokesman for Solidarity, said. “The gold price rose from R6,210,21 per troy ounce to R9,380,23 between March 2008 and March 2009. With the worldwide financial uncertainties in the stock market, gold is seen as a Bull option for investors worldwide. The gold-producers thus are definitely in a position in which they can considerably improve the living conditions for their workers,' he said.
- “This 6% offer does not even reach the current rate of inflation of 8,4%. Solidarity refuses to take this offer as a mandate to consider for its members.' The third round of the wage negotiations in the gold-mining sector continues this week, from 11 June.
There has been a whopping 6.4% drop in South Africa's Gross Domestic Product in the first quarter of 2009, making more layouts and mine closures inevitable - except, as was pointed out by Kleynhans of Solidarity, in the gold-mining sector, which is benefiting greatly from the soaring gold-bulliion prices.
77 workers and 45 contractors suspended
Harmony Gold this week suspended 77 workers and 45 contractors at its operations in central Free State province who it said had helped illegal miners underground with supplies or accepted bribes for access to mining properties, the South African Press Association reported. At least 76 miners were killed by a fire that raged for days at the disused Harmony mine. Harmony spokeswoman Marian van der Walt confirmed that no more bodies were found underground on Friday (SAPA). These Zama-Zamas died at the disused Eland shaft near the town of Welkom -- in a part of the mine that runs to depths of up to 1.4 km. The company claims that the fire was set by the illegal gold miners themselves…
Harmony, the world's No 5 gold producer, is particularly exposed to plundering by illegal miners as it buys up old, often very dangerous gold shafts and mines and re-explores them. see
- This company’s private security teams also have captured at least 300 illegal miners in extensive new security measures over the past two weeks. The company said these illegal pirate miners had entered the Eland mine shaft to illegally chop gold-bearing ore from the rockface and smuggle it to the surface for smelting in hostel backyard gold-production operations. Details: South African gold mines looted by pirates
Sowetan’s Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi - email@example.com reports that Minerals and Energy Affairs Minister Susan Shabangu has vowed to ‘smash these gold gangs’, making this promise while visiting the disaster mine shaft.
- Disused shafts – it’s mines that decide
- 42 mine deaths still a mystery
Gold Bullion prices are fixed in London each day: http://www.lbma.org.uk/
http://www.solidaritysa.co.za/Tuis/wmview.php?ArtID=2002 Mining problems: Jaco Kleynhans: Solidariteit 083-324-5631 012-644-4361 (wh) 012-331-8417 (ah)
- Miners ‘work without pay’ at Pamodzi Gold The Sowetan newspaper
- 4000 MINEWORKERS DOWN TOOLS AT PAMODZI National Union of Mineworkers’ statement
- Gold mines looted by armed miner-gangs in S.Africa, Ghana
Podcasts - Institute for Security Studies, Southern Africa:
530 children a day are raped in South Africa….
June 5 2009 – PRETORIA, South Africa. It’s a mind-boggling statistic: one child is raped every 3 minutes in South Africa.
That’s 530 children who have to suffer the horrors of rape each day.
This shock statistic was released in a report drawn up by experts from an country-wide, in-depth investigation by the Helping Hand charity organisation. see
The SA Police Service receives ‘only’ a daily 60 formal notifications of child-rapes each day - however child-health experts and social workers who were interviewed by Helping Hand’s researchers said more than 88% of all the child-rape cases are not even notified to the police at all.
"This means that in reality, about 530 children are raped each day in South Africa, one rape every three minutes,' said Dr Danie Langner when introducing the charity's report at the Imax Theatre on 4 June in Pretoria.
Helping Hand's child-rape report contains shocking statistics and detailed facts about the high levels of murders of children, and also details the growing physical abuse targetting South African children in horrifying minutae.
Dr Langner said that they held 'countless interviews with social workers, employees of social- and child-welfare and -treatment organisations" which are included in the report. "It provided us with a unique insight into the hands-on experiences of people who are confronted with child-abuse and child-rape on a daily basis.'
1,410 children murdered in 2007
The report notes that child murder has increased by 22,4% since 2006 in South Africa. "In 2007/08, 1,410 murders of children were reported to the SAPS, 22,4% more than the previous year."
45% of all South African rape victims are children:
Picture left: South African-born actress Charleze Theron has launched two international charities to highlight South Africa’s rape epidemic and has become a UNICEF ambassador to fight against worldwide violence against women. However, the South African Police statistics also show that 45% of all the rapes in her home country target children.
This shocking reality of official police statistics however do not even begin to describe the truly horrifying real extent of this problem, said Langner, managing director of the Helping Hand Charity in Pretoria.
Police must accept report of a missing child at once – not after only 48 hours…
During the introduction of the report, a special award was also given by Helping Hand to top South African police detective Director Piet Byleveld, pictured by Beeld newspaper below left, for his life-long dedication to child-protection.
Byleveldt issued a warning to parents in his acceptance speech: namely that police who tell people to ‘wait 48 hours’ before notifying them that a child was missing, were wrong: “That’s just taboo. When someone has gone missing, you must insist that an investigation and a search be launched at once,’ said Director Byleveld, who is stationed at the province of Gauteng ‘s SA Police Service’s headquarters. Byleveld was the detective who solved the highly controversial rape and murder case of the impoverished Afrikaans child Sheldean Human in Pretoria North in March 2007. This case had shaken the Afrikaans community to the core for the depraved, terror-filled life this frail, starving little girl had been forced to live. She was found raped and murdered, and Byleveldt brought her rapist, a man who lived in the same commune, to justice.
Sheldean Human’s seven years on earth were a living hell…
Byleveld said South Africa’s children are in great crisis. “There is a huge problem in a community where parents no longer are interested in their children. “They have no control or supervision over their children and let them come and go as they please,’ he said. He also issued a call to the public ‘to become the eyes and ears of the community again, to help the police’.
Dr. Danie Langner, managing director of Helping Hand, said that the Sheldean Human case had deeply affected his children they heard about it. “Sheldean’s seven years on earth were hell. She lived with her mother and 39 other poor whites in a commune where she only had food about three times a week. A child from a richer area could also have been kidnapped, raped and murdered. But the reality is that vulnerable children in such impoverished circumstances are abused much easier. Sheldean’s fate is symbolic for the daily existence of many tens of thousands of South African children countrywide. This is a tragedy, that a year after her death, there still are so many Sheldeans countrywide…’ he said.
46,000 more social workers needed:
Other problems revealed: a severe shortage of capable social workers and the extremely difficult working condiitons for these care-workers, with huge case-loads which are more than twice as high as the acceptable norm worldwide.
"Some organisations such as Child-Care, have more than 2-million children a year -- and their families -- under their care. The average social worker there has to handle at least 200 cases a year, whereas the acceptable caseload norm is 60.
“For the first time in South African history, social work now has been listed as a 'scarce skill'. In 2007 there were still 12,500 registered social workers in South Africa, but the country is bleeding social workers because of the extremely difficult working conditions and high case loads,” the report noted. The experts interviewed by Helping Hand Charity also warned that the new South African Child Law may be ‘immeasurably advantageous for children, but still remains a stumbling block for protection of children as long as the country still needs an extra 46,000 social workers."
The report also covers the many issues which South African children now have to deal with routinely, on a daily basis, including criminality and sexual assaults at schools, the lure and threat posed by gangsterism and drugs, and the devastating effect of the large child-slavery trade from South Africa, as well as the devastating impact of child-pornography on society.
80% of infants and toddlers suffer skull fractures - Child Line Port Elizabeth
- "The simple fact that 80% of all the children younger than two years who are being helped by Child Line Port Elizabeth, suffer from skull fractures, and the fact that young boys are sexually-exploited quite shamelessly by middle-aged men through advertisements in the Western Cape... are just two examples."
Helping Hand has issued a CD, "Hands of Hope", together with the report, with a song by singer/song writer Mel Botes and another twelve top Afrikaans singers, Dozi, Rina Hugo, Juanita du Plessis, Jannie Moolman, Anna Davel, Kevin Leo, Piet Botha and Mathys Roets.
Protecting South Africa’s most vulnerable people: its children:
- The Alfred Rens Child and Youth Care Agency, a community-based childcare program funded initially by De Beers, today (Thursday) opened its doors to the community of Donkerhoek in Galeshewe, close to Kimberley in the Northern Cape province of South Africa.http://www.naccw.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=43&Itemid=2