Joint civil Society statement on assassination of chairperson of Amadiba Crisis Committee
Posted from Right2Know
We are shocked and outraged to learn of the brutal murder of the chairperson of Amadiba Crisis Committee, Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe. 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.
According to Amadiba Crisis Committee: “ 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 8 bullets in the head.”
This is not the first case of intimidation or violence against those who have opposed mining in the area.
Our hearts go out to Bazooka’s family and community.
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 by those in townships, informal settlements and rural areas. For years, poor people’s movements in different parts of the country have experienced regular harassment, intimidation, detention and violence against their members. 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.
- We call for the speedy arrest and successful prosecution of the killers of comrade Bazooka.
- 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.
- 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!
- We demand protection for all members of the Amadiba Crisis Committee and their families!
- We call on all progressive forces to stand up in defence of democracy. End the attacks on our activists and movements!