...Mapungubwe boffin , JoelR...
I have been in touch. Thanks, ndloti - I have never been called a boffin before.
...diamond mines... How nice it could be for these structures to be buried or removed as well ...
Nice, but impossible. De Beers does not only own the entire Venetia Game Reserve (part of the planned transfrontier park), but also quite a few crucial pieces of land (former farms) in Mapungubwe itself.
Surely the world economy will pick up again and Venetia will start digging again (most staff is sitting jobless in Musina at the moment). I think it's safe to say that Mapungubwe as a conservation effort would not have been possible without De Beers... That does not take away the fact that the mine is extracting a LOT of water from the sensitive riverine forest along the Limpopo.
Was the removal of all structures not purely a consequence of the proclamation of Mapungubwe as a national park which co incided with the end of the apartheid era and resultant decline of the military threat to the multinationals interests in the area , and therefore less a political decision ?
True, demolishing of 'European' buildings would have happened in any newly proclaimed national park. However, there WERE politics involved because the former National Party deproclaimed the earlier national park in the 1940s to woo local farmers (and initially not for military purposes). Here's
a bit more on past politics and a bit on why Mapungubwe is promoted & touted so much by the current governers.