Former president Jacob Zuma was never going to remain the all-powerful and omnipresent political figure that he thought, writes Pieter du Toit.
Showers late. More clouds than sun. Mild.
The company that is looking to start mining in the heritage site community of Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape is taking environmental activists and attorneys to the Western Cape High Court for defamation.
It seems that Gwede Mantashe is not paying sufficient attention to the core principles of constitutional democracy that puts citizens at the centre of shaping their futures, writes Mamphela Ramphele.
The Department of Mineral Resources says the survey would be independent and that there was no way for government to manipulate its outcomes, one way or another.
Mining companies looking into the area have been accused of bypassing processes and holding secret meetings with the minister to allow mining to take place.
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has slammed allegations that his department met privately with an Australian mining company. Still, he said, while the Xolobeni community can oppose mining there, others have the right to support it.
Eighty-two civil society organisations have condemned the murder of an anti-mining activist on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, and called for all mining applications to be suspended.
The Australian company sued the environmental activists for defamation over misgivings they expressed about the process behind the approval of their exploration licence in Xolobeni.
Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe said the ruling by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria was sound, but that it ran the risk of transferring authority over licensing in the mining sector from the state to communities. He said the consequences were potentially chaotic.
Mantashe visited the Eastern Cape community and its natural dunes on Wednesday accompanied by a delegation from the Department of Mineral Resources and what has been described as heavy police presence.
The Minerals and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill must be made relevant to current mining developments if it is to bring certainty, Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has said.
The fight for the soul of Xolobeni could go to the highest court in the land, according to the opponents of proposed titanium mining activities near Mbizana on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape.
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