GOGO Phumzile Zwane is not happy about the house that was built for her by mining company Buffalo Coal.
The gogo (86) said she was moved to another village two months ago after she complained that stones from the mine’s explosions damaged her house.
The gogo from Allen Farm in Newcastle, northern KZN, told Daily Sun that before the move she had farmland, eight buildings, fruit trees, a borehole, and her relatives’ graves around her.
“I had a farm and people bought my produce,” she said.
“The mine has put up seven buildings on my new land.
“They only moved three graves and my husband’s spirit is troubling me because there’s no yard around his tombstone like he had before.”
She said her husband comes to her in dreams and asks where his hat is. He complains that she separated him from his five kids, who were buried next to him. She had lived in her old house, 100m from the mine, since 1942.
Lucky Tshabalala, Sisonke Environmental Justice Network chairman, said they tried to speak to representatives of the mine but had no luck.
“The mine must compensate her for the land she used for farming, sort out the graves, and supply her with water.”
Thembinkosi Dlamini of Oxfam South Africa said gogo Phumzile had the right to dignity, water and food.
Buffalo general manager Kevern Mattison said the gogo had asked to be moved.
“It’s not our intention to deprive anyone of their rights. I’ve told my team to make contact with her,” he said.