Friday 25 March 2016

Prominent South African anti-mining campaigner assassinated.

Police in Eastern Cape, South Africa, after Sikhosiphi 'Bazooka' Rhadebe, a prominent opponent of the Xolobeni Mine Project, was shot dead in front of his wife and son on Tuesday 22 March 2016. Rhadebe, who was chairman of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, was killed by two men who arrived at his home claiming to be police officers. The men shot him eight times before fleeing. Rhadebe's wife and son are being treated for shock.

 Sikhosiphi Rhadebe negotiating with police officers at a demonstration in 2008. John GI Clarke/GroundUp.

The Xolobeni Mine Project is a project of Transworld Energy & Minerals, a South African subsidiary of the Australian company Mineral Commodities. The project hopes to excavate 348.7 million tonnes of ore-sand from the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape, yielding about 5% titanium. However the project would involve the relocation of about a thousand people, and affects an area considered to be considered to be part of their cultural heritage by many Xhosa people.

The Amadiba Crisis Committee was formed by residents opposed to the project in 2007, and has repeatedly complained of intimidation by supporters of the mine. In May 2015 six people were arrested after a Transworld Energy & Minerals fired a gun over the heads of protesters, and four men, one identified as an employee of the company, are awaiting trial after an incident in December in which several protesters were attacked and intimidated.

Members of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, including Rhadebe himself, have claimed for some time that a hit list of prominent protesters had been drawn up by opponents of the mine, a claim which now appears to have been vindicated. However the chairman of Mineral Commodities, Mark Caruso, has denied that the company is in any way involved with the violence and has promised to co-operate fully with any investigation.

See also... official assassinated at Lonmin's Marikana Platinum Mine.                                 A fifty-three year old woman, identified as a shop steward from the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), was shot outside her home, close to the Lonmin operated Marikana Platinum Mine, at... at Lonmin's Marikana Platinum Mine.                                                                A 49 year old man, believed to be a team leader for the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), was shot dead... union officials shot at Lonmin Platinum Mine in Marikana, South Africa.                     Two union officials have been shot, one fatally, in an incident at the Lonmin-owned Marikana Platinum Mine in South Africa...
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.