It is almost five months since environmental activist Mama Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down in her home in Somkhele, KwaZulu-Natal, after raising concerns about a coal mine in the area. No arrests have been made. Ntshangase had received threats to her life but carried on with what she perceived to be the only way to protect her community’s health and livelihood.

On March 3 the UN expert on human rights defenders used Ntshangase’s story to begin a new report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva that highlights the risks under which many environmental defenders operate, and the widespread attempts to silence their voices. ..

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