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S. Africa: Civil society organisations strongly condemn killing of activist, and blame mining company for ‘causing untold destruction of the environment, homes and livelihoods’ of the community

S. Africa: Civil society organisations strongly condemn killing of activist, and blame mining company for ‘causing untold destruction of the environment, homes and livelihoods’ of the community

Civil society organisations in South Africa have come out to strongly condemn the killing of a human rights activist Fikile Ntshangase who was was gunned down in her home at Ophondweni, near Mtubatuba, on the evening of 22 October 2020. Mama Ntshangashe was the Vice-Chairperson of a sub-committee of the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation (MCEJO). MCEJO has been challenging the further expansion of a large coal mine at Somkhele in KwaZulu-Natal by Tendele Coal Mining (Pty) Ltd. One of the court cases brought by MCEJO is scheduled for hearing in the Supreme Court of Appeal on 3 November 2020. Tendele’s coal mining operations have caused untold destruction of the environment and the homes and livelihoods of the residents of Somkhele. Over the past few months, tension has been rising in the community over the proposed expansion of Tendele’s operations, and MCEJO’s opposition to that expansion.

The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre requested Tendele Coal Mine to respond to the allegations raised, Tendele Coal Mine did not respond.