Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe
March 24, 2016 —Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal— Sikhosiphi
Bazooka Rhadebe, chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee and a leading
campaigner against the Australian-owned Xolobeni mineral sands mine in South
Africa was shot dead in his home on March 22. Below we republish statements by
the Amadiba Crisis Committee and one signed by 82 civil society organisations
condemning the assassination of Sikhosiphi Bazooka Rhadebe and asking for
international support to ensure his murderers are brought to justice. There is
also an online petition you can sign onto at the bottom.
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.
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.
civil society organisations condemn the assassination of Sikhosiphi Bazooka
Rhadebe, chairperson of Amadiba Crisis Committee!
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 helping lead the
struggle of Amadiba residents on the Wild Coast in opposing open-cast titanium
mining by the Australian mining company MRC.
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
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,
especiallythose 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
We cannot afford to remain silent in
the face of any of these attacks. Every one of them is an attack on democracy
1. We call for the
speedy arrest and successful prosecution of the killers of comrade Bazooka.
2. 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.
3. 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!
4. We demand
protection for all members of the Amadiba Crisis Committee and their families!
5. We call on all
progressive forces to stand up in defence of democracy. End the attacks
on our activists and movements!
We will not be bullied and intend to
speak out even more strongly than before. The key thing when civil society is
being intimidated is to show no fear.
to the 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
Sustaining the Wild Coast
First National Bank
Acc no: 62157997639
Physical address: cnr Main Ave/Republic Rd, Randburg
Reference: ‘Bazooka Cause’
else can you do:Appeal to your networks and to the general
public to contactthe highest offices of the DMR and inundatethem
with demands tointervene 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:
of Mineral Resources: Mr Mosebenzi Zwane
Tel: 012444 3999
Fax: 012444 3145
Minister of Mineral Resources: Mr Godfrey Oliphant
Tel: 012444 3956
Fax: 012341 2228
Director-General: Department of Mineral Resources: Mr David Msiza
Tel: 012444 3000
Fax: 012341 2228
/Khayalethu.Matrose@dmr.gov.za(Director: Office of the DG)
African Centre for Biodiversity (ACB)
Alternative Information & Development
Centre for Civil Society (CCS)
Centre for Environmental Rights (CER)
Centre for Human Rights, Unversity of Pretoria
Co-operative and Policy Alternative Center
Coalition for Environmental Justice (CEJ)
Colombia Solidarity Campaign, UK
Common Frontiers – Canada
Community Media Trust (CMT)
Democracy Works Foundation
Democratic Left Front
Economic Justice Network of FOCCISA/AMI
Equal Education (EE)
Food Soverninty Campaign
Fossil Free South Africa
Global Afrikan People’s Parliament
Global Justice Forum
Health of Mother Earth Foundation
International Socialist Movement (SA)
Johannesburg Anglican Environmental Initiative (JAEI)
KeepLeft (Socialism from Below)
Khanyisa Education and Development Trust
Kingston University, London
Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR)
Left Students’ Forum
Marikana Support Campaign
Media Monitoring. Africa (MMA)
Mineral Policy Institute
Network of Eastern Cape Rural Organisations (26 organisations)
Noordhoek Environmental Action Group (NEAG)
Operation Khanyisa Movement (OKM)
Oxfam South Africa
Oxford Women for Justice and Peace
Pan Afrikan Reparations Coalition in Europe
Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG)
Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM)
Right2Know Campaign (R2K)
Salva la Selva /Rettet den Regenwald
Social Justice Coalition (SJC)
Socio Economic Rights Institute (SERI)
South Durban Community Environmental Alliance
Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI)
Sustaining the Wild Coast
The Gaia Foundation
Thembelihle Crisis Committee (TCC)
Treatment Action Campaign (TAC)
Unemployed People’s Movement
Unemployed people’s organisation KZN
United Front Western Cape
War on Want
Women’s Legal Centre
An Australian mining company wants to
mine 22 km of South Africa’s Wild Coast for titanium without the consent of the
The majority of residents of have repeatedly rejected the
proposed opencast mine which will destroy one of the most beautiful sites in
MRC and their South African
subsidiary TEM are using desperate measures. Their local allies are resorting
to violent attacks on anti-mining residents with guns and machetes.
On 22 March 2016 Sikhosipi Bazooka Rhadebe, Chairperson of
the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC), was assassinated. The ACC is the affected
community’s committee spearheading the resistance against the mining project.
Many residents need employment and
better infrastructure, but don’t want to compromise their land for a mine with
a lifespan of only 22 years. They don’t want their homes, ancestral graves,
water supply, fishing stock or traditional way of life destroyed. They want
sustainable development projects, including agriculture and eco-tourism, which
cannot attract investment with the threat of mining.
Together, let’s tell investors that
their investment is neither ethical nor stable. MRC’s AGM is around the corner.
Sign now to let MRC’s investors know it’s time to take their funds elsewhere.