Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe has said that the Xolobeni want a mine to be developed in their area according to EWN.
EWN reports that Mantashe said this while speaking on the Karima Brown show on Tuesday night, saying the department would go ahead with the project before the current court case over it was finalised.
He further claimed that opposition to the mine was a ‘small minority’.
This comes after Mantashe ‘meeting with community members’, in which the police had formed a defensive line in order to keep opponents of the mine out of the tent.
In August, Australian mining company Mineral Commodities told investors that the government was in favour of the mine’s development.
According to GroundUp, Mantashe claimed he had no idea where the company got this idea from.
The Amadiba Crisis Committee, which has been fighting against the mine, said that when Mantashe met with the Xolobeni community supporters of the planned project were bused in, and protesters against it were dispersed by police using tear gas and stun grenades.
Amnesty International condemned this use of violence by the police.
“The excessive use of force by the South African Police Service (SAPS) during a peaceful anti-mining protest in Xolobeni, Eastern Cape, yesterday is intolerable and must be investigated immediately, said Amnesty International South Africa today,” the human rights watchdog said in a statement.
You know, generally when a community is in favour of something, it doesn’t result in protests in which police start firing off the stun grenades and tear gas.
We can see here clear signs of not just opposition to the mine, but strong opposition, opposition that had to be quelled with violence lest its voice be heard.
But Mantashe claims it is a small minority. If it is so small, why did it have to be excluded from that meeting?
This is part of what I’ve got against expropriation without compensation. The government, when it has the power, will expropriate without compensation to the benefit of groups like Mineral Commodities – which isn’t even South African – and tell us that the people who are opposed to it are just a small minority.
Jacob Zuma, the president that Gwede Mantashe for so many years supported once said the following:
“We (the ANC) have more rights here because we are in a majority. You (opposition) have fewer rights because you are in a minority.”
It was the opposition that objected to this, not the ANC benches.
The ANC defines itself as the majority because it wins the majority of votes, but you the voter are not the majority. Even if you support the ANC, you are not the majority, you didn’t win their vote, they won yours.
So not matter what sort of opposition you can mount on any single issue, the ANC will define you as the minority so long as your views are not in line with theirs.
Even if they have to use police force, tear gas and stun grenades to try and shut your opposition down.
- Picture courtesy of Amnesty International.