Sibanye-Stillwater to foot Bapo-Ba-Mogale legal costs as community seeks to recover funds

Neal Froneman, CEO, Sibanye-Stillwater

NEAL Froneman, CEO of Sibanye-Stillwater, said his company would help foot the legal costs incurred by the Bapo-Ba-Mogale community in South Africa’s North-West province as it sought to recover hundreds of millions of missing royalty money.

BusinessLive said Froneman also asked former public protector Thuli Madonsela,
who previously probed the depleted R617m Bapo-Ba-Mogale fund, to join forces in seeking justice for the community.

In the space of 20 years, the community had earned R392m in deposits from Lonmin in the form of royalties, and R224m in interest. By 2014, just shy of R500,000 was left in the account, said BusinessLive.

Froneman’s offer was made at an online company memorial for the 44 victims of the Marikana massacre in August 2012 when police shot dead 34 protesters near Lonmin’s Marikana operations outside Brits. Sibanye took over Lonmin in 2019.

Officials in the North West provincial government had authority over the Bapo community’s bank account and had been responsible for spending the R617m, including R115m on a palace, for which R30m had been budgeted.

Sibanye is the world’s largest source of platinum group metals and it is the second-biggest miner of South African gold.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, which was the trade union that led the Marikana protests and subsequent marathon strike, did not participate in the Sibanye event which was addressed by Madonsela.