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11 Nov 2021

Daily Maverick (South Africa)

S. Africa: Mining company provides correspondence between itself and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders

‘Tendele Mining corrects error in article about activist Fikile Ntshangase’ 4 November 2021

At the outset, we repeat that despite our differences of opinion, Tendele Mining, its owners — including Somkhele — and its management, also mourn the death of Ntshangase and offer their ongoing support in finding the perpetrators. Tendele has offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators, and the offer remains open. We cannot vouch for the accuracy of the quote in respect of the SA government, but we have written separately to Lawlor requesting her to notify Daily Maverick of the error. We provide here our detailed responses to her queries, dated 8 February 2021. Lawlor’s office, in response to our inquiry, has stated that: “The response you sent on 8 February 2021 has unfortunately not reached the Special Procedures Mandate Holders due to a technical problem in our system. This is the reason why the Special Rapporteur Mary Lawlor stated in an interview that no response has been received to the allegations to date. We wish to apologise for the confusion caused.”

…Tendele has made every effort to resolve all the issues out of court; however, these efforts have been rebuffed by the applicants. Tendele has surrendered 92% of the land over which the mining right has been granted and has offered to investigate and reasonably resolve any legitimate community and environmental concerns. The applicants and their associated entities have repeatedly alleged that the mine is responsible for tensions in the community. This is not so. Tendele acknowledges that tensions exist; however, these tensions are linked to the uncertain future of the mine as 40,000 people from the community directly and indirectly benefit from the operation of the mine.