A woman who was an activist against the expansion of a coal mine next to the Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, has been gunned down in front of her 11-year old grandson.
According to a joint statement issued by a number of environmental organisations, Fikile Ntshangase was shot dead when four attackers burst into her home in the Ophondweni area, near Mtubatuba, on Thursday evening. Indications are that nothing was taken during the attack.
This is Fikile Ntshangase as I will always remember her-
Courageously standing up against Tendele mine’s expansion and speaking the TRUTH. Tonight she was shot down in her home in front of her young grandson and her fire and courage is gone forever. We are devastated by her loss pic.twitter.com/V6EcyiWxNT
— Kirsten Youens – attorney (@kirstenyouens) October 22, 2020
The Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organisation – also known as MJECO – says tensions in the area have been increasing as one of the court challenges against the expansion of the Tendele coal mine has been drawing nearer.
The case will be heard in the Supreme Court of Appeal on the 3rd of November.
The expansion cannot take place until an agreement is reached about the relocation and compensation of 21 families.
It is alleged a recent MJECO meeting that Ntshangase attended was broken up by a number of men. Threats were that there would be bloodshed were also allegedly made.
The killing of KZN environmental activist Fikile Nsthangase on Thursday did not come out of the blue. In April, during lockdown, a woman activist’s house was shot at, and another activist had to relocate after being threatened https://t.co/ZmjB6gfIF5 #JusticeforFikileNtshangase
— Centre for Environmental Rights (@CentreEnvRights) October 24, 2020