The battle between the Amadiba Wild Coast community and Australian Mining company Mineral Resources Commodities (MRC) has been going on for years.
Social Worker and Development Consultant for the Amadiba Community John Clarke, says the issue goes back twenty years to 1996 when the Department of Mineral Resources invited Mark Caruso, MRC Executive Chairman, to come and look at mineral dense deposits in that area. Clarke says the Department guaranteed him mining rights, road access and a loan of R80 million to get a venture capital company off the ground to commence the mining.
For ten to fifteen years civil society has been banging away at government, trying to tell them this is not going to do South Africa any good whatsoever.. Unfortunately and tragically it has come to this, where one of the leaders of the community, 'Bazooka' Rhadeve has been shot and killed. And he is not the first person who has died under suspicious circumstances.— John Clarke, Social Worker for Amadiba Community
John Clarke has been trying to help the Amadiba community for years but he says, his letter and pleas have fallen on deaf ears.
(In dealing with the problem) it presupposes we can rely on police and prosecuting authorities to get on with their jobs to make sure where there are certain clear breaks, violations of the law, they get prosecuted. And that has not happened.— John Clarke, Social Worker for Amadiba Community
Clarke says he hopes the new Minister's genuine concern will help resolve the situation and give real consideration to the reports previously ignored by the previous Minister of Mineral Resources.
I just hope that the death of 'Bazooka' will be vindicated...and South Africans will rally behind us and support the Amadiba community, donate money rather than just liking on Facebook.— John Clarke, Social Worker for Amadiba Community
Despite claims of differences within the community, Clarke insists they are united in leadership structures and have always sent out a clear message that they do not want mining on their ancestral land.
But the government have just continued to allow this Perth-based operation with its already well-defined track record of human rights violations - not just in South Africa, but globally - it has continues to court them. So its not really a question of what the community wants. but can we be confident in the way government is going about mineral administration in this country.— John Clarke, Social Worker for Amadiba Community