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Minerals must benefit all

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MINING in Zimbabwe is an issue that provokes anger, joy and sometimes disappointment. From structural historical inequalities to post-independence disproportionate wealth distribution, the combination has been explosive and divisive. This has stirred a minerals race spurred by disillusionment over lack of sufficient and swift action to cause change that guarantees an equitable sharing of wealth from minerals, which is a finite resource, in modern Zimbabwe.

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Rev. S. Matale bemoans high GBV cases

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The Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has expressed concern at the increasing number of defilement and gender-based violence (GBV) cases against women and children in the country. In a pastoral letter issued in Lusaka on Wednesday by Secretary general Suzanne Matale, CCZ says the murders of young women at the hands of suspected serial killers must be brought to an end. The church mother body is calling on Government to provide adequate resources to the Police Service to enable them to carry out their mandate of protecting all citizens and to make communities safe environments for women and children.
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SACC blames Lonmin over crippling strike

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Bishop Joe Seoka SACC Chairman in centerThe South African Council of Churches (SACC) has blamed the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, in the North West of South Africa, for the continued stalemate between management and the striking workers. The council facilitated a meeting between the Labour Department and workers' representatives yesterday.  President of the council, Bishop Joe Seoka, says the workers' demands have remained the same since the start of the strike about two weeks ago.

He says management should come to the party. "Management does not seem to hear or if they do they are ignoring it. The workers continue to solicit an offer and putting their R12 500 request on the table, to no fruition," says Seoka. He says once management begins to work on the issue before them, a solution to the problem will arise.

The strike at the mine began two weeks ago. Police opened fire on striking workers killing 34 and injuring 78. In the week leading up to the shooting, another 10 people -- including two police officers and two security guards -- were killed.

The protests were believed to be linked to rivalry between the National Union of Mineworkers and the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union over recognition agreements. Workers also wanted higher wages. (Source: SABC News)

Read a press clipping taken from Pretoria News on 29 August 2012, where Bishop Joe Seoka stresses the need to find solutions to the crisis before more lives are lost.

Economic Justice Network of the Fellowship of Christian Councils in Southern Africa (FOCCISA) released a press statement calling for immediate peace and conflict resolution. The faith based communities were also very active at the recent memorial which was held in memory of the miners who were killed in the shoot out. For more information and pictures, click here.

 

Death not a deterrent for illegal miners

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The man slips the plastic pouch of gems into his mouth, an illicit haul from the sandy deposits scattered among the mountains of South Africa's diamond coast. "It's my safe," he explains, sliding the stash back along the inside of his cheek. The group of diggers are waiting for the cover of darkness to make another raid on a disused mine, opposite their make-shift camp, where 10 miners died in an avalanche three months ago. Illegal miners in South Africa are ready to risk death to chase a share of the mineral riches that shaped the continent's biggest economy.

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Let us touch the dying, the poor, the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work. - Mother Teresa