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23 Mär 2016

Tony Carnie, IOL (South Africa)

Wild Coast anti-mining activist gunned down

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A community leader opposed to dune mining near the Wild Coast Sun Casino has been murdered in front of his family following a series of violent attacks on anti-mining activists in the area...Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe was gunned down outside his home in Mdatya village in the Xolobeni area...Rhadebe was chairman of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, a community group that has been resisting attempts by an Australian-owned mining company to extract heavy mineral sands such as zircon, rutile and titanium along the scenic Wild Coast region between the Mtentu and Mzamba rivers.

There have been several reports of killings, attacks and intimidation of the Amadiba community dating from at least 2008, allegedly at the behest of community members allied to the Perth-based mining company Mineral Commodities Ltd (MRC), its local subsidiary Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM) and the Xolobeni Empowerment Company (Xolco)...Early in 2008, Samson Dimane, an outspoken critic of the mining, died in mysterious circumstances. Several grade 7, 8 and 9 pupils at Xolobeni Junior Secondary School were allegedly sjambokked by police in September 2008 for voicing opposition to mining on their land...MRC executive chairman Mark Caruso could not be reached in Australia last night to comment on the latest violence in the proposed mining area. The Mercury was also unable to reach Zamile Madiba Qunya, a vocal supporter of the mining bid, for his views on recent developments.