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More than 70 NGOs issue joint statement demanding protection of leaders and families of anti-mining activists in the Wild Coast
Author: over 70 NGOs incl. ActionAid So. Africa, Bench Marks Foundation, Centre for Environmental Rights, Centre for Human Rights - Univ. of Pretoria, Lawyers for Human Rights, Open Secrets, Oxfam South Africa, Treatment Action Campaign, War on Want, Published on: 23 March 2016
"Joint civil Society statement on assassination of chairperson of Amadiba Crisis Committee",
...As chair of the ACC, Bazooka Rhadebe was a leader of the community’s years-long struggle against an Australian mining company, Mineral Commodities Limited, which seeks to plunder the Amadiba's communal lands along the Wild Coast...This is not the first case of intimidation or violence against those who have opposed mining in the area...The assassination of Bazooka is a painful reminder that from abahlali baseMjondolo to the Helen Suzman Foundation, there is an existing pattern of criminal attacks on civil society formations, especially on those in townships, informal settlements and rural areas...It is worst felt when the media are far away and the victims are poor, black or rural, and when major industries stand to make billions in profit.
We cannot afford to remain silent in the face of any of these attacks. Every one of them is an attack on democracy itself.
1 We call for the speedy arrest and successful prosecution of the killers of comrade Bazooka.
2 We further call on the Human Rights Commission to investigate the systematic process of intimidation that has been orchestrated against those who have stood up against MRC and its lackeys in the area.
3 We demand that the Minister of Mineral Resources suspends all mining applications until there has been a full and independent investigation of Rhadebe's murder!
4 We demand protection for all members of the Amadiba Crisis Committee and their families!
We call on all progressive forces to stand up in defense of democracy. End the attacks on our activists and movements!