UnderMining Life: Activists threatened in South Africa

Video by Sphiwe Mazibuko

Sphiwe Mazibuko’s 9 minute documentary exposes the intimidation and violence facing anti-mining activists on the Wild Coast and Zululand, in South Africa.

Xolobeni residents have fought for 10 years to prevent an Australian company from mining their titanium rich dunes. The unwavering response of the Pondo people to protect their traditional Wild Coast lands, where they have lived for over 1500 years, has been met by increasing intimidation and violence that culminated in the violent murder of Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe, on 22 March 2016. Two men posing as police arrived at night and shot Rhadebe 8 times in the head in front of his 15 year old son. The next person on the hit list, Nonhle Mbuthuma, is featured in this film together with four other activists on the Wild Coast whose lives have all been threatened.

In Zululand, mining activists from Fuleni, Somkhele and Melmoth also face death threats. Reverend Mavuso frequently has to go into hiding for fear of his life, while the police have been notified of death threats to Phila Ndimande. Bongani Pearce’s vehicle was burned after a peaceful protest on 14 March 2016 following 8 years of being silenced by corrupt traditional leaders, and cheated and exploited by Tendele’s Somkhele coal mine.

The film was commissioned by Mupo Foundation (now EarthLore) and funded by the European Commission.

 

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