The Economic Freedom Fighters on Saturday expressed shock at the barbarous murder of Amadiba Crisis Committee chairperson, Sikhosiphi ‘Bazooka’ Rhadebe.
Rhadebe, the 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.
Speaking in a statement, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Rhadebe, together with Amadiba residents on the Wild Coast actively and courageously spearheaded the opposition of opencast titanium mining by MRC, a mineral resources company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
The party noted that ‘The intimidation and violence by foreign multinationals such as Australian mining company MRC on our people is only permissible when relevant authorities chose to ignore grievances and evidence brought to their attention.’
Ndlozi decried that ‘It is evident that the lives of black, poor and rural communities such as Amadiba and many more others, does not matter.’
The party further said it ‘condemns with strongest possible terms acts of barbarism, intimidation and violence by corrupt officials of the Department of Mineral Resources and greedy Australian mining company MRC.
“The EFF will write to the Minister of Mineral Resources to withdraw permanently MRC mining licenses and to request the Minister to suspend companies operations in South Africa with immediate effects.”
Ndlozi added that everyone must intensify the fight to nationalize land and mineral resources to stop the looting of our resources, and ensure that the hard work of Rhadebe is not in vain.”
Meanwhile, Amadiba Crisis Committee has also reacted to Rhadebe’s cruel murder. A statement released by the committee reads,
“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.
The committee noted that ‘after one year of threats and attacks, they 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.’
They however appealed to all and sundry to support their community and stand by them in this terrible moment.
The deceased, who was shot 8 times in the head was described as “a fighter”. Those who knew Rhadebe also described him as a man of principle.