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Battle for Xolobeni's titanium heading for highest court

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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.

Nonhle Mbuthuma, secretary of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, a lobby group at the forefront of the fight to prevent Australian mining company Mineral Resources Commodities from mining the red dunes in Xolobeni, an area rich with the titanium mineral, spoke to City Press this week after Umgungundlovu headwoman in Xolobeni Duduzile Baleni filed a declaratory application in the High Court in Pretoria.

In the application, Baleni – who was forced to flee Xolobeni in December owing to violence and threats to her life because of her opposition to the proposed mining – wants the court to declare that Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane did not have any authority to grant mining rights on any land in South Africa held under tribal law or authority, in terms of the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act.

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