Johannesburg – The Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) has spoken out against Australian mining company Mineral Commodities (MRC) for silencing its critics.
This is after the company sued its lawyers for defamation, claiming R500 000 in damages.
The Cape Town-based human rights law firm said on Friday that MRC, which planned to mine titanium in the rural community of Xolobeni on the Wild Coast, had sued two of its attorneys.
It said Tracey Davies and Christine Reddell, along with a local community activist from the West Coast, Davine Cloete, were sued allegedly for making defamatory statements about its subsidiary company, Mineral Sands Resources (MSR) and its director, Zamile Qunya.
MSR has claimed R250 000 in damages from each of the attorneys, and a further R750 000 from Cloete.
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CER spokesperson Annette Gibbs said strategic lawsuits against public participation were intended to censor, intimidate and silence critics by burdening them with the cost of a legal defence until they abandon their criticism or opposition.