Inside SA’s mining mafia
Procurement gangsters, zama zama militias and organised crime syndicates have turned SA’s mines into war zones. This rampant criminality is holding the country’s mining companies hostage. Yet the authorities seem largely absent when it comes to finding solutions and the police are largely invisible
Until recently, there was never a dull moment in the Swart household. Jokes abounded between Nico, his adoring wife and two teenage daughters, and any silence was typically filled with his cheery whistling.
At work, too, Nico "Omnyama" Swart was a well-loved member of the team at Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals, where he was the general manager. His colleagues describe him as an "amazing human being" who was always smiling, and a decisive and principled leader. It was this incorruptibility, a family friend said at Swart’s funeral, that led to his untimely death...