groundWork, Friends of the Earth South Africa


Durban, South Africa, 23 March 2016 – groundWork/Friends of the Earth South Africa offers our condolences and support at this time of tragedy to the Amadiba Crises Committee and family of their Chairperson. We learn with great sadness of the passing of Sikhosiphi Bazooka Radhebe, who was brutally assassinated outside his house in Mbizana, in connection with his activism against the titanium dune mining in Xolobeni. We understand that this forms part of on-going violence against members of the Amadiba community who are being harassed for their democratic right to freedom of speech and assembly around an activity that threatens the survival of their ancestral land on the Wild Coast.

According to a statement put out on Tuesday, 22 March, by the Amadiba Crises Committee:
Radhebe was murdered at about 7.30 in the evening. The hitmen came in a white Polo with a rotating blue lamp on the roof. Two men knocked at the door saying they were the police. Mr Rhadebe was shot with eight bullets in the head. He died defending his young son, who witnessed the murder. His son and his wife are now in hospital.

After one year of threats and attacks, we have been waiting for something like this to happen: Ever since the shootings in Xolobeni 3 May last year, led by mining director Zamile Qunya, and ever since the Christmas shootings in Mdatya village. But since the four gangsters from the Christmas shootings were released on bail in January, police have been intimidating the Amadiba community and leaders in nightly raids, determined to look in the wrong direction. For one year the local police has refused to cooperate with the Umgungundlovu traditional authority of the coastal Amadiba area to stop the violence against our community which says no to mining.

The Australian mining company MRC and all the criminals in high positions who are eager to cut their piece of our land and fill their pockets with blood money, shall know this:

The Amadiba coastal community will not be intimidated into submission.  
Imining ayiphumeleli!