The Mining Minister and Chair of ANC, Mr Gwede Mantashe, has again decided to come to Xolobeni on 25 April despite the Traditional Authority of Umgungundlovu has told him several times he is not welcome.
He plans to come despite what happened at his visits on 23 September and 16 January.
We attach DMR’s “invitation” and a letter in response where our lawyers urge Mantashe not to come.
Whatever it is that is threatening Gwede Mantashe, the DMR or individuals in ANC, so that they want to risk a third “consultation”, we wish to advise Mr Mantashe to see this from the point of view of our community and reflect over of what his campaign might lead to.
We ask President Cyril Ramaphosa not to be silent any longer. His silence on this matter is scaring us.
We ask the SA Human Rights Commission, Church organisations, Amnesty International, political parties, youth leagues, student organisations and all progressive and democratic organisations to tell Mr Mantashe to stay away from Xolobeni. We want peace in our community.
Two weeks away from the National Elections, there must be better things to do for the Chair of ANC than coming to Xolobeni with horses, dogs and Tactical Response Teams to promote mining?
This community won the right to say No to the Xolobeni Mining Project on 22 November in the Pretoria High Court. The DMR appealed on 4 December, but did not proceed to ask for a court date. Our lawyers “helped” DMR with such a letter to the Judge last week. Let now the legal process go ahead.
Mantashe cannot hide behind the word “development”. He is not the Minister of economic development. As he knows very well, the Department of Economic Development is already working with us on the ground together with the Departments of Tourism and of Agriculture.
Our ancestors fought for this land in the 1950s against the state. We are still fighting for this land today, against the state. Land is our livelihood, our identity and our dignity. We will never give our land away.
Our land has not been protected by mistake.