London Supporters Call on Minister Gwede Mantashe to Stop His Visit and Respect High Court Decision on Xolobeni Sands!
Activists in London to deliver a letter to the South African High Commission in London.
Emergency Protest: South African High Commission, Trafalgar Square, London 1pm-2pm Monday 14th January
Stop the Mining Minister visit!
No to Mining of Xolobeni Sands!
No Second Marikana!
Hands Off Amadibaland!
In response to the emergency situation confronting the community around Xolobeni sands in Amadibaland, South Africa the London based Marikana Solidarity Collective has called an emergency protest where it will hand over a letter registering its concerns.
The central demand of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, which is supported in the letter, is that the South African government respects the decision of the Pretoria High Court in November, which determined that the Xolobeni community have ‘The Right to Say No” to mining; and consequently Minister of Mines Gwede Mantashe calls off the visit of to the area programmed for Wednesday 16th January.
To: Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe
13th January 2019
Dear Minister Mantashe,
We are writing to register our grave concerns about your proposed visit to Xolobeni on Wednesday, January 16th. From media accounts and contact with the community, we raise the following specific concerns:
• On November 22nd 2018, Pretoria High Court ruled that communities have a Right to Say No to mining and must give ‘full and informed’ consent before the Department of Mineral Resources can approve mining on their land. We support this emphatic victory and are concerned by your apparent attempts to undermine it: the Xolobeni community’s Right to Say No to Mining must be respected, as should their calls for the Ministers of Tourism, Agriculture and Development to visit instead once they have said No and consistently offered alternatives.
• The ‘Xolobeni Youth for Sustainable Development’ group whose statement claims that you are welcome appears to have been formed by a director of Mineral Resources Commodities and the mining applicant Mr. Zamile Qunya when he was informed by the DMR about your proposed ‘Third Coming’ on 16th January. Mr Qunya is signing all of TEM’s affidavits opposing the Right to Say No to mining in Xolobeni. This reveals a nexus between DMR and TEM working against the wishes and interests of the community.
• The spokesperson of this ‘youth group’ appears to be Mr Mfundo Dimane, the fifth accused in the 2015 Christmas Shootings (‘Robbery and Assault’; Mzamba CAS 99/12/2015). The lawyer TEM hires to defend accused for all incidents of violence in Xolobeni, Mr. Daluvuyo Unathi Ximbi, has successfully managed to postpone the trial of Mr. Dimane and his four co-accused several times.
• We noted the violence instigated by your previous visit to Xolobeni on September 23rd, 2018 where media accounts and video footage confirmed that police action not only prevented hundreds of community members aligned with the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) from entering the hearing, but violently ejected those who managed to attend its fringes, as well as arresting the movement’s lawyer. We are concerned that your ‘stakeholders’ will return to Xolobeni heavily armed and repeat or intensify this violence.
In solidarity with the land and human rights of the Amadiba people, represented by the ACC, we join their calls to stop a ‘second Marikana in South Africa.’ It must also be noted that the physical and intellectual authors of the first Marikana Massacre continue to escape with impunity, as Lonmin sets out to sell itself before paying reparations to the community and delivering on its legal obligations under the Social and Labour Plan.
We are aware that similar concerns have been raised with you by Amnesty International and the Benchmarks Foundation. We fully recognise that it is South Africa’s democratic right to decide on its economic and environmental policies. Our concern is that the public’s right to a democratic participation is being ignored.
We assure you that international public opinion has been alerted to the situation in Amadibaland, that the stand of the ACC is achieving worldwide recognition and that continuing a heavy handed approach would engender further and increasing protests here in London and elsewhere.
We would be happy to meet with South Africa’s diplomatic representatives to the UK to engage in dialogue on these concerns.
Pp Marikana Solidarity Collective
Cc Nomatemba Tambo, South African High Commissioner
For more Information and Media Contacts: Daniel Selwyn ++44 (0) 7944 458 896 Andy Higginbottom ++44 (0) 7981 312 011
Marikana Solidarity Collective
c/o London Mining Network
225-229 Seven Sisters Road,
London N4 2DA