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8 Mai 2017

Siyavuya Mzantsi, IOL (South Africa)

Environmental rights group claims it's being censored

The Centre for Environmental Rights says an Australian company involved in mining in environmentally-sensitive areas, which it opposes, is suing two of their attorneys for defamation.

...The centre says a subsidiary, Mineral Sands Resources (MSR), is now claiming R500 000 in damages.

Gibbs said the summons served on Tracey Davies and Christine Reddell, along with a local community activist from the West Coast, Davine Cloete, claimed they had made defamatory statements about MSR and its director Zamile Qunya during presentations at UCT’s Summer School in January.

...“Strategic lawsuits against public participation, popularly known as 'Slapp' suits, are intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their criticism or opposition."

...But yesterday Caruso alleged the CER and certain individuals made defamatory and unsubstantiated remarks aimed directly at diminishing the company's core values of ensuring responsible environmental impact and high social and economic value for local communities.

...“The company enjoys the same right to defend itself and owes a duty to its stakeholders and employees not to permit these remarks to simply go unanswered.”