If ever you need proof of what a team of dedicated people with a singular vision can accomplish together, then this is it.

We have won the Barberton Mines appeals court case. Judgement was received 14 March 2017. It also means the second case by Vantage Goldfields that was suspended pending this outcome is history.


The Nature reserve is confirmed and the prohibition against mining ito S48 of NEMPAA stands. A good precedent has been set for the protection of all Protected Areas against mining.

If ever you need proof of what a team of dedicated people with a singular vision can accomplish together then this is it. More than ten years of commitment and follow through. Going back all the way to 1985 when the Transvaal Provincial Administration Division Nature Conservation had the vision to protect this area (many of whom I had the privilege to meet recently as part of this process). That vision was carried through with dedication by all the Mpumalanga Parks Board and later Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency officials who from 2005 refused to budge on their mandate to protect the area. Louis Loock, Charles Ndabeni, Abe Sibiya and all the many others who stood firm in the face of mounting odds and threats to life and limb. All the men and women who believed in the principles and that right must eventually triumph and all those who helped with affidavits and documentation over the years. To our dedicated legal team from lawyers Richard Spoor, George Kahn, Johan Lorenzen, our advocates Mark Wesleyand, Janice Bleazard for all their dedication and hard work. To each and every person whom I met and who gave their time and energy so willingly to this cause over the last ten years. Fantastic teamwork that came together from across such a wide spectrum of people. It was indeed an honour and a privilege to work with you all on this. I am forever in your debt. Thank you!

Below is an eloquent summary by Richard Spoor and attached is the full judgement:

“The Supreme Court of Appeal gave judgment today in the matter of Barberton Mines v Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency (MTPA) and others.

The Court set aside an order of the North Gauteng High Court interdicting the MTPA from interfering with the prospecting activities of Barberton Mines within the Barberton Nature Reserve.

The Court found that the Barberton Nature Reserve, which had been established in 1985 was indeed a nature reserve and was a protected area as contemplated under the Protected Areas Act, which means that mining is not permitted.

The mine and the DMR have insisted throughout that the Barberton Nature reserve had not been properly established under the the old Transvaal Nature Conservation Ordinance.

This is a sweet victory, not only because it protects a very valuable environment that is in the running for world heritage status but because my firm was acting for a government agency which doesn’t happen a lot.

This also puts an end to Vantage Gold’s (the Australian company that owns the Lily mine) plans to mine in the Barberton Nature Reserve.

Vantage had started its own case against the MTPA but that had been put on hold after their Lily and Barbrook Mines went into business rescue.

Congrats as always to our very clever advocates Mark Wesley and Janice Bleazard and to George Kahn in the Jhb office who did a huge chunk of the work.

Thanks to the MTPA for their confidence in us.”


Read more at: TIMESLIVE.CO.ZA

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