Numsa condemns murder of Wild Coast anti-mining activist

The execution style killing of a leader of the Wild Coast anti-mining campaign has been condemned by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa.

Sikhosiphi ‘Bazooka’ Rhadebe‚ chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC)‚ was shot eight times in the head‚ in front of his wife and 15-year-old son‚ by assassins who claimed to be police officers‚ it was reported on Wednesday.

Two men driving a white vehicle with blue lamps came to his home‚ claiming to be police officers‚ and told Rhadebe they were there to arrest him.

The ACC and Wild Coast residents have been battling for about 10 years to stop Australian mining company Mineral Resource Commodities (MRC) and its local subsidiary‚ Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM)‚ from mining titanium on the Xolobeni coastal dunes.

Some residents have links to the Australian-owned company and support the bid to mine the area.

MRC chairman Mark Caruso has denied that the company was linked to Rhadebe’s murder.

The ACC said: “Our beloved Bazooka made the ultimate sacrifice defending our ancestral land of Amadiba on the Wild Coast. The Australian company 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 that the Amadiba coastal community will not be intimidated into submission.”

The crisis committee said while they are shocked by the murder‚ it was not unexpected‚ following shootings in May last year in Xolobeni and over Christmas in Mdatya. Prior to his murder Rhadebe said there was a hit-list and that he was the number one target‚ according to the Numsa statement.

Numsa said in its statement that the anti-miners are under attack from powerful capitalist interests in league with local thugs.

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