Johannesburg - The Amadiba Crisis Committee on Tuesday accused Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe of "preparing a provocation" in the Xolobeni area after the community received reports that that the minister intends to visit the Wild Coast area in the Eastern Cape this coming Sunday.
The Xolobeni community scored a significant victory last week after the North Gauteng High Court ruled that, in terms of the interim protection of informal land rights act, the Minister of Mineral Resources may not grant mining rights without the consent of the community and the people directly affected by that mining right.
The community has been at loggerheads with the department while waging a 15-year long battle against the issuing of a mining license to Transworld Energy and Minerals (TEM), a subsidiary of Australian mining company MRC, to mine titanium along the Wild Coast in Mbizana. The last meeting Mantashe had with the community on 17 November did not end well.
Nonhle Mbuthuma, ACC spokesperson, said in a statement that they had received reliable reports that the department of mineral resources plans to transport people from all around, even from districts in KwaZulu-Natal in a bid "to convince the people in Xolobeni that they need mining".
Mbuthuma said a tender for "mass catering" has already been sent out by Mbizana Local Municipality. She said no contacts were made with the lawyers of the Umgungundlovu Traditional Council and with ACC before the reported visit.