Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Justice for Bazooka Rhadebe! Stop the Assassinations of ACC activists!

Dear Friends

Many of you may have heard by now of the assassination last night of the Chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), Bazooka Rhadebe (see also statement below from the ACC). No other conclusion can be drawn other than that his assassination was orchestrated by the local pro-mining lobby, as a desperate attempt to remove the widespread community resistance to the proposed mining project at Xolobeni, Wild Coast. The ACC was elected by the affected communities to represent them in the fight against the proposed mining, and has managed to hold the mining company and the force of the state at bay for close to a decade. There is evidence that other anti-mining activists are now at risk. 

We therefore call on you to support this struggle at this critical time in the following ways:

1. Draft a statement by your organisation or together with other organisations stating your solidarity to the communities and the family of Bazooka, condemning the assassination, and calling on the Minister of the Department of Minerals Resources (DMR) to intervene to stop the mining right application process and to protect the anti-mining activists and communities. To sign on to an existing civil society statement, go to https://tinyurl.com/acc-solidarity-endorse or email Busi busi@r2k.org.za or call Busi on 021 447 1000

2. Please circulate this appeal and your statements to all your networks, national and international organisations, calling on them to support as well

3. Appeal to your networks and to the general public to contact the highest offices of the DMR and inundate them with demands to intervene to stop the mining right application process and to protect the anti-mining activists and communities. Here are the contact details of the highest offices of the DMR:

Minister of Mineral Resources: Mr Mosebenzi Zwane
Tel: 012 444 3999
Fax: 012 444 3145
Email: Queen.Poolo@dmr.gov.za (PA) 

Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources: Mr Godfrey Oliphant
Tel: 012 444 3956
Fax: 012 341 2228

Acting Director-General: Department of Mineral Resources: Mr David Msiza
Tel: 012 444 3000
Fax: 012 341 2228
Email: david.msiza@dmr.gov.za / Nwabisa.Qwanyashe@dmr.gov.za (PA) / Khayalethu.Matrose@dmr.gov.za (Director: Office of the DG)

4. Solidarity Fund: The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) urgently requires funds to assist Bazooka's family, for transport, and for continuing the struggle and protecting activists in this dangerous moment. You can make donations to the following bank account. Please include the reference as 'Bazooka Cause'. Please also forward this request for financial assistance on to your networks as well as funding agencies that may be willing to support the ACC.

Sustaining the Wild Coast
First National Bank
Randburg
Acc no: 62157997639
Code: 254005
Swift: FIRNZAJJ
Physical address: cnr Main Ave/Republic Rd, Randburg
Reference: 'Bazooka Cause'

For further information, contact: Mzamo Dlamini 072 194 0949; Nonhle Mbuthuma 076 3592982
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Amadiba Crisis Committee 2016-03 22: Our chairman brutally murdered

We are shocked to tell the public that the chairman of Amadiba Crisis Committee, Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe from Mdatya village in Amadiba, was brutally assassinated tonight outside his house in Lurholweni  township, Amadiba area, Mbizana. 
Our beloved Bazooka made the ultimate sacrifice defending our ancestral land of Amadiba on the Wild Coast. 
He 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 8 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!
We appeal to democratic South Africans to support our community and stand by us in this terrible moment. 
Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC): 
Mzamo Dlamini 072 194 0949; Nonhle Mbuthuma 076 3592982
The Umgungundlovu Traditional Authority and the ACC are represented by Richard Spoor Inc. in Johannesburg and LRC in Cape Town and Pietermaritzburg. For legal issues in the coastal Amadiba community struggle against mining: Henk Smith 0832661770, Thabiso Mbhense 0711099340 and Richard Spoor 0836271722.