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It seems there is much more to Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s (RBPlats’s) cosying up to Impala and hostility to Northam than meets the eye, and it could alter fundamentally the platinum group metals (PGM) landscape in the country. But first we must go back a few centuries to understand.  

The Bafokeng started reacquiring the mineral-rich land they first settled on in the 15th century — now the world’s richest PGM resource — as far back as 1860. According to Prof Susan Cook, former research and planning executive for the Royal Bafokeng Nation, they managed to evade apartheid’s pernicious land laws with the help of a German missionary, Christoph Penzhorn from the Hermannsburg Missionary Society German Lutherans, who agreed to buy the land in his name...

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