Ann Crotty Writer-at-large

For a sense of how truly bizarre the world has become, look no further than the recent high court ruling on the battle for mining rights in the Eastern Cape coastal area of Xolobeni. As a result of the ruling we now have the former chair of the SACP seemingly batting for an Australian mining company with a dubious environmental record against the poorly resourced members of a rural community determined to protect the land that nurtures them and hosts their ancestors. Gwede Mantashe is not only an SACP veteran but is also a founding member of the National Union of Mineworkers, and hails from the Eastern Cape. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more likely ally of the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC). For 15 years the ACC has heroically battled to protect a place that their people have called home for centuries. As judge Annali Basson said, they want nothing more than the power to determine whether mining should take place on their land. The law on the matter is little more than a farce, u...

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