As the police continues with the search for the murderers of an anti-mining activist in the Eastern Cape’s wild coast Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, The Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) has put forward their suspicion that an Australian-owned mining company – OZ company is behind the murder of its leader.
Sikhosiphi Rhadebe who was the chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, a committee opposed to titanium mining in the Xolobeni sand dunes and a prominent taxi owner, was gunned down at his residence in Bizana near Port St Johns on Tuesday night where he died immediately after he was shot eight times.
Rhadabe was reportedly killed after he warned his community a week earlier of a hit list targeting those who opposed a lucrative mining operation by Australian-owned mining company Mineral Commodities Limited (MCR).
According to the committee’s Mzamo Dlamini who believes no doubt his murder is related to his opposition to mining, said the opposition mine earlier threatened to kill.
“It was an Australian mining company which was to mine into our area. We simply blocked them and they were threatening to kill. The only suspicion is on those people, but otherwise we don’t know of anything else.”
However, the Chamber of Mines who in a statement condemned the killing of Rhadebe pointed out that mining can be a source of conflict in communities.
The chamber therefore called out to the state’s police to look in to the case by urgently fishing out the killers.
In response to the call, the Eastern Cape police has set out in search of the culprits. According to the police’s Mlungisi Matidane, two men posed as officers went to Rhadebe’s home and told him he was under arrest.
“He prepared himself to go to these two gentlemen. They started shooting, and shot [him] in the head. The gentleman died instantly.
Although no arrests have yet been made, a decade-long struggle between communities along the Wild Coast and MCR has been marked with violence and death since the company sought rights to mine titanium off the mineral-rich coast.