13 May 2015

PRESS STATEMENT: UNITED FRONT CONDEMNS POLICE ARRESTS OF ANTI-MINING PROTESTERS IN XOLOBENI

The United Front strongly condemns the action of the police to arrest members of the Amadiba Crisis Committee and other community members in Xolobeni (Mpondoland, Eastern Cape) over their protests against the proposed titanium mining by the Australian-based Richtersveld Mining Company (RMC).

As if these communities have not long stated their views against this mining, government is proceeding with an Environmental Impact Assessment process as a further step forward to facilitate the mining. This is undemocratic and unjust. As the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) has previously argued, this mining will only secure profits for the RMC and destroy the sensitive biodiversity upon which the people of Xolobeni crucially depend for their livestock, harvesting of natural resources and sustainable agriculture. This struggle underlines the need for a democratic and sustainable path of development that moves away from the polluting, destructive and exploitative mining regime we have in South Africa.

The UF stands in full solidarity with the ACC and the community of Xolobeni in their just struggle. The UF calls on government to stop this undemocratic process and to engage in a genuine process of consultation, The UF calls on all progressive organisations in South Africa and elsewhere to stand with the community of Xolobeni.

FOR COMMENTS, CONTACT:
1. Mazibuko K. Jara – UF Interim National Secretary – 083 987 9633
2. John Appolis – UF National Campaigns Coordinator – 073 408 2674

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