Botswana miners who worked in the South African gold mines from the 1960s will next year smile all the way to the bank as they get a stake in R5 billion (about P4 billion)availed by the South African government as class action settlements for gold miners.
For a long time the miners, mining companies and the government of South Africa have been in extensive negotiations as to how to pay the former workers. The decision to pay the miners was arrived following Occupational Disease in Mines and Works Act (ODMWA) 78 of 1973. However, the decision has been taken that only miners who suffer from silicosis and tuberculosis and have worked in the mining companies from 1965 up to date will be eligible for compensation.
Briefing the miners about the decision, Dr Barry Kistanasamy who is the Compensation Commissioner from South African Department of Health says the miners will get their due next year. “We will be back in February/March next year or thereabout for operational planning with the payments expected later on,” he said. The whole sum has been divided as thus; R4 billion will be directed to miners pension and provident funds, R1.2 billion in compensation fund for miners and R5 billion for class action settlement for gold miners.
According to the statistics out of 1,624,938 miners in South Africa, Botswana had 29,224 workers. It is however emphasized that not everyone who worked in the mines will get the share but for those who worked in six mining companies of African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American, Anglo Gold Ashanti, Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye Still Water. Medical examination will also be conducted to verify if at all the claimants suffer from the conditions stated.
“There should be empirical evidence that your condition is as a result of working in the mines. For example it would be difficult to compensate administrators, cleaners and cooks because they never worked underground,” he said. Dr Kistanasamy has revealed that his office has already made R600m payments to 20,000 claimants. “R200m were paid to Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland,” he said.It was further highlighted that there are ten classes of claimants who once properly certified will be eligible for a benefit.
Silicosis Class 1 or early stages will get a compensation of R70, 000 while those who suffer silicosis class four which is the aggravated condition will pocket R500, 000. For TB patients’ first degree will go home with R50, 000 and the claimant should have worked underground. Second degree will get R100, 000. The benefits however will increase annually by the extent on the increase of Consumer Price Index (CPI).
More former miners are invited to link up with Botswana Labour Migrants Association (BOLAMA) so they can possibly get the compensation. In case of death with a proof that the causes of death are the diseases in question, dependents of the deceased will be eligible for the claims.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.