The pro-mining group at Xolobeni in Mbizana in the Eastern Cape are living in fear following an email allegedly threatening to kill their members. The group says the author of the email, circulating on social media, is unknown.
The pro-mining group’s lawyer, Unathi Ximbi says some members of the group say they have received an email, detailing how the leaders and their families will be eliminated, if they persist to advocate for mining in the area.
Ximbi says the email has targeted only people who support the proposed mining project. Ximbi says the matter will be dealt with legally.
“I have received an instruction to approach the nearest police station to have these threats further investigated. Now I can also indicate that the family of that young man is under threats. As a result, they did not sleep at home. The mother of the young man and the siblings, as well as the young man himself. So, this is a situation that warrants a further investigation because it has an element of bloodshed.”
Heated altercations are common in meetings that are related to the proposed mining project in Xolobeni.
It seems the warring parties aren’t prepared to listen to each other, and at times their meeting have degenerated into chaos. It’s alleged the threats follow a heated consultative meeting. It was eventually called off by Mineral Resources Minister Gwede Mantashe at Xholobeni on Wednesday.
Before the gathering was called off, a member of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, Simlindile Matsheleza, defected from anti-mining group to the pro-mining group.
Matsheleza says he has received a number of death threats after he left the anti-mining committee.
“There are so many people that threatened me and they are trying to kill me. They are threatening my family and they are sending me messages. They are phoning me and telling me that they will seek me and find me and killing me definitely. So, I decided to go. I am in the hiding place now and I am safe. I do not know about my family, but my family was not at home even last night because of the threats. My family is threatened.”
One of the leaders of the pro-mining group, Mncedisi Nxumalo, says they have received an email detailing how the leaders and their families will be eliminated if they persist to push for the mining of the sand dunes of Xoloneni.
“The circulating email received is detailing the content with the killing threats directed to the people who are supporting mine together with their family. So, it’s saying it’s going to kill these people who are supporting the mine mercilessly. We are very much concerned because when we talk of development in a democratic dispensation we do not expect any elements of threats in development.”
Amadiba Crisis Committee’s Chairperson, Nontle Mbuthuma says her organisation knows nothing about the death threats. She says killing is not their style of doing things.
“If we have been planning to kill a person, our chairperson is already been murdered and we have not done anything. Instead they are attacking us strongly, and we have not even paid a revenge. Why now we are thinking to kill a person because if we were planning to kill a person it’s the day our chairperson was murdered. That was the day that we were supposed to act, but we are not like that. We do not believe in killing. We believe in talking and put the facts straight. That is not our style.”
Police continue to monitor the situation in the area of Xolobeni.