One of the wealthiest men in the country has been blamed for the Jagersfontein dam disaster, which has left four people dead and a reported 70 others injured. A wall of the dam burst last week Sunday and houses and vehicles were swept away.
At least 300 people in the mining town have since been displaced, prompting government intervention. There have since been growing calls for the owners of the mine dam to be held accountable. It was previously owned by Rupert’s Reinet Investments, but the company sold Jagersfontein assets to Stargems Holdings, a global diamond cutting, and polishing company.
JAGERSFONTEIN RESIDENTS BLAME RUPERT
According to IOL, community leaders claim Johann Rupert bribed and intimidated residents and employees at Jagersfontein, after they had raised their concern with the dam wall. Lefa Shale has told the publication that they had been warning the company since 2019, but nothing was done about it.
“The bribery is not an allegation, it is a fact. I am a community leader and I know about some of the leaders who were bribed. The community would raise these concerns and ask leaders to organise a meeting with Rupert. But these leaders would go on their own and tell Rupert what the community is planning. I know that he has been giving these leaders envelopes,” said Shale.
Meanwhile, Thandi Molefe, also a resident of Jagersfontein, said in part: “We have been protesting and fighting but some leaders were bribed. Today my furniture has been destroyed, while some people lost their homes and cars. Some family members lost their loved ones, all because of bribery.”
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