3 injured in fight over Eastern Cape dune mining

2015-12-31 13:56
(File, News24)

(File, News24)

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East London - Three people were injured during a clash over a controversial dune mining project on the Eastern Cape coastline, police said on Thursday.

The clash was between those who were for and against the project, Captain Mzukisi Matidane said.

The three suffered injuries, which included a fractured leg and head wound. They had laid charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm. No arrests had been made yet.

Matidane said the situation was chaotic. Public Order Police had to be deployed to Mdatya, where listed Australian mining company Mineral Commodities (MRC) wanted to mine the dunes.

The company regards Xolobeni, where the Amadiba lived, as the 10th largest heavy mineral deposit in the world.

The dispute dates back to 2007 when XolCo, a shareholder of MRC's empowerment partner Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources, was granted mining rights by the Department of Mineral Resources.

Those opposed to the mining formed the Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) which appealed the granting of the licence, citing concerns for the environment. They argued the area was protected and that no one had informed them about plans for communal land.

The appeal was eventually upheld in 2011, but the conflict continued.

The ACC said in a statement they were worried about the safety of their headwoman Cynthia Duduzile Baleni after a group of men searched her home in Mdatya.

The ACC alleged that on Tuesday night a group of about 10 people armed with knobkierries, bush knives and a gun attacked five people walking home after a meeting in Mdatya.

Read more on:    east london  |  crime  |  mining

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