OUTA supports the Amadiba Crisis Committee
The Report the Minister “never received”
Amadiba residents plead for journalists to uphold human rights before mining rights.
4st March 2013
On 21 March 2013 South Africans will again celebrate Human Rights Day. In the weeks building up to that day an opportunity exists for journalists to support of the Amadiba Coastal Residents of the Pondoland Wild Coast to hold the South African Government accountable to its promise to ensure that human rights of its citizens are more important than the mining rights of foreign mining companies.
A year ago, in March 2012 the Australian mining company MRC Ltd. announced its intention to reapply for mining rights for a section of the Xolobeni mineral sands, that had been revoked in May 2013. The Amadiba residents strenuously objected to the sudden reappearance of MRC and their BEE partner Xolco, and lodged a complaint in the form of a 100 page report with Office of the Presidency, titled Co-option, Subversion and Offensive Exploitation: The failure of cooperative governance for the Amadiba Community of the Eastern Cape. The report was addressed for the specific attention of Minister Collins Chabane responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, and copied to seven other cabinet ministers.
The report was acknowledged by Minister Chabane’s chief of staff, on 14th June 2012 with an undertaking to bring it to his attention. However in response to a parliamentary question put to him in August 2012, he replied in December 2012 stating that he had never received the report, and therefore could not respond to any further questions.
In the course of Human Rights month, the ACC would like to appeal to journalists:
To again rally in support of the fundamental human rights of the Amadiba community by investigating the matter, and ask Minister Chabane and the seven other ministers copied in the report why they have not responded to their complaint, and how they propose to redress the discrimination against the Amadiba residents in favour of an Australian mining company.
To keep the South African public and international investment community informed about a mining related conflict that is again trembling on the edge of a repeat of the human rights violations that occurred between 2003 and 2008, during the mining company and Xolco’s first attempt to obtain the manipulated consent of local residents to the award of mining rights.
Human rights do not belong to Government. They belong to all citizens of South Africa, and the media plays a vital role in cultivating that ownership. In both root, branch and fruit the Amadiba struggle is essentially a good news story of the actualisation of fundamental human rights.
For further information contact:
Nonhle Mbuthuma - 076 359 2982
Mzamo Dlamini - 072 194 0949
Sinegugu Zukulu - 072 428 5109
Legal issues. Sarah Sephton - 083 410 7646
Consultant Social Worker John Clarke 0826080944, email firstname.lastname@example.org.