Just days after Perspective Africa launched their inaugural edition of the magazine, with extensive coverage about development issues facing South Africa’s Pondoland Wild Coast, the shocking news broke that a key amaMpondo community leader, activist and anti-mining campaigner in the area was assassinated by what are widely suspected to be pro-mining hitmen.
Sikhosiphi 'Bazooka' Rhadebe. from Mdatya village in Amadiba, was gunned down outside at his home in Lurholweni township on the evening of Tues 22 March, which ironically was one day after South Africans celebrated Human Rights day. Rhadebe was Chairman of the local community activist group, the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) which has fiercely but peacefully resisted proposed plans by the Australian mining group Mineral Commodities Ltd (MCR) and their local subsidiaries Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM) and local partner Xolobeni Empowerment Company (Xolco) to strip mine for mineral sands in the area. Anti-mining activists firmly believe that mining in the area will destroy their homeland, their traditional way of life, and their communities.
The assassination follows many years of continual harassment and intimidation of anti-mining activists in the area.
South African civil society has widely condemned the murder as an attack on democracy itself, and is calling on the international community, human rights organizations and civil society to petition the South African government to immediately stop its support for the mining proposal.
More details can be found on the website www.swc.org.za