Translator:Nyoi-Bo StudioEditor:Nyoi-Bo Studio
Helicopters could not fly into the mine. Otherwise, the rotor would spin out an airflow in the mine that would disperse the dust and cause a sandstorm. Five or six kilometers from the mine, an open area had been cleared for helicopters to land on, and two SUVs with large base tires waited quietly there for them.
Li Du looked at the logo. Both of the SUVs were also Chinese brands. Lion Hunter noticed his eyes and smiled. “Made in China. We have a lot of Chinese goods here. Chinese goods are cheap and durable. Who doesn’t like them?”
Li Du responded with a smile. This was a recognition toward Chinese products.
They got off the plane to get on the car when a group of black people rushed out from nowhere. They emerged suddenly and no one knew where they had been hiding. They were old men and children, thin, ragged, and poorly dressed.
As they ran out, they shouted to Lion Hunter:
“Give us back our fields, sir! We have no food!”
“Don’t destroy our home!”
“Pay me damages, or I’ll blow up your mine!”
Li Du was surprised and asked, “What happened?”
Li Du was asking intentionally. There was farmland around this mine, therefore Li Du had a feeling that most likely the farmland had been taken by Lion Hunter without proper compensation for the original owners.
The locals now regretted selling their fields to Lion Hunter. The foreign miners from western countries used to take their farmland as well, but they would either follow the rules and compensate them or offer them jobs to make up for the locals’ loss.
Lion Hunter lit his cigar, waved his hand leisurely, and said, “Two hundred thousand for an acre, and a thousand kilograms of grain a year for you. That was the deal, wasn’t it?”
A woman cried, “My husband has run away with the money. My parents have taken away the food. What shall I do?”
“I have fulfilled my promise,” Lion Hunter said mercilessly. “I have given you money. I have given you food every year. You have taken the money and food, the rest is not my business.”
Hearing this, Li Du didn’t say anything else.
Earlier, Li Du asked the question intentionally because he wanted to put some pressure on Lion Hunter. He thought these people were victims and were vulnerable, but now that didn’t seem to be the case.
People shouted and whined and complained. Lion Hunter ignored them. He waved and the strong guards came up and shoved the crowd away.
When they got on the cars, Li Du and the others were driven to the mine. The people who had come to demonstrate moved back and the cars behind just followed them.
There were several children in the crowd who looked about the same age as Victoria and Ivana. They stumbled at the end of the crowd, clearly flustered.
Sophie could not bear to see the children drinking from the river next to the road. She said, “Stop the car. We brought some food and drinks, didn’t we? Give it to them. I don’t think we would use it anyway.”
Brother Wold had packed food and water. He was thinking that in case they were going into the wild, they needed to prepare enough food.
Lion Hunter sitting in the passenger seat slowly said, “Miss Martin, I admire your kindness and your brilliant character, but you don’t understand this place, and your decision may not be right.”
Hearing this, Sophie immediately said, “Please explain in detail.”
Lion Hunter did not say much. He only said, “You can give them food and then you will understand.” The driver stopped. Sophie grabbed the food and mineral water and gave them to the children.
The children were very polite. When they got the food and mineral water they excitedly said thank you to her, then quickly squatted down to fervently eat and drink.
Sophie got into the car, and before she could sit down a menacing crowd gathered around the children. They snatched food and water from them.
Some of the food even caused fights, with several women and young people beating each other. As the owners of the food and water, the children could only lie on the ground and cry at the top of their lungs.
Shocked, Sophie muttered, “Nothing like this happened when I was an intern in the Middle East. They were still thought of as children. How could they be treated like this?”
“This is not the Middle East. This is Africa. This is South Africa. Next to it is Zimbabwe, a world of cannibalism,” laughed Lion Hunter, with a helpless smile on his face.
The car continued to drive. As they approached the mine, some tall mining trucks appeared in their view.
The trucks were huge, with tires as tall as a man and exhaust tanks wildly belching black smoke. The carriages were filled with ore, and wagon after wagon drove out.
A truck came up and stopped at the side of the road. The driver got out, and Li Du was surprised to see that it was a white woman.
“Are all the workers in your mine white, too?” asked Li Du.
Lion Hunter shook his head and said, “I’d like to, but too few white men want to work in the mine. It is a tiring and low-paying job. They don’t want to do such laborious work.”
The mine had white and black workers. There were also both men and women, and the ratio was basically one to one.
Lion Hunter said some of the black workers had lower salary requirements, and they were very diligent and willing to take on hard work. However, this kind of ideal workers only made up a very small portion of the workforce.
Like the previous protesters, Lion Hunter had given them a large sum of money to buy a house in a nearby town and 1,000 kilograms of grain a year, so they could live in peace as long as they were working.
But a portion of the population hadn’t done that. Once they got the money, they either left their family or decided to have fun and quickly spend it all. Some who got the grain later had exchanged it for money and continued on with their extravagant lifestyles.
Finally, when they ended up with no money and no food, they would run to mine to make trouble. If they got the compensation that was great, but if they did not, there was no loss to them.
Lion Hunter had a lot of power in the region, but he would not easily order his men to beat or kill people unless he was forced to do so. After all, South Africa was not like Zambia or Zimbabwethere were rules and laws here.
“The black miners here are not at ease,” Lion Hunter said. “I put a lot of effort into calming them down, and now the living and eating environment in the mine is not bad. You’ll see.
“I also threatened them that if it were not for the requirements of the state, I would replace all of them with white people so that they would feel enough pressure to work without giving me any trouble.”
After entering the mine, the SUVs stopped and they got into several ATVs that could drive on extreme terrain.
There are two main caves in Lion Hunter’s mine. The mine was spiral-shaped, the surface area was the largest at the top, and the size gradually shrunk as it went downward. The overall shape of the mine was like a funnel.
The diamonds formed as a result of volcanic activity and surfaced to the higher parts of the crust during eruptions. Most of them were located in a special kind of rock the miners had to keep an eye out for. Because ancient volcanic activity had formed this rock, the diggers had to dig as deep as possible to reach diamonds.