And just like that, Shell’s imbroglio over the Wild Coast has taken a more sinister turn. And it’s a development that should force Ben van Beurden, the CEO of the oil firm based in the Netherlands, to pay attention to what’s happening at the foot of Africa.

You’ll have seen the fuss about Shell’s seismic blasting along the Wild Coast. The company, pursuing gas reserves, hired a ship, Amazon Warrior, to conduct "seismic surveys" along a 6,011km² stretch of the Eastern Cape coast...

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