12 November 2018

South Africa: Richtersveld Simmers As Mining Contractors Clash With Community

ActionAid South Africa and the Richtersveld community have described simmering tension and violence in the area over the past two weeks and have called on government to 'urgently intervene'.

Mine security guards and farmers are alleged to have opened fire on Kuboes, Sanddrift, Eksteenfontein and Lekkersing community members during a protest earlier this week after the exclusion of the community from sites occupied by mining contractors.

The communities are beneficiaries of the largest ever land claim in South Africa in the diamond-rich Richtersveld region.

According to a statement by Christopher Rutledge, Natural Resources Manager ActionAid SA (AASA), and Guido Kotze, a Richtersveld community member, a march had been organised after mine security officials had denied access to the mine to the community.

"As the community protested their exclusion, security guards and some farmers opened fire on the community, wounding several people and property in the process," reads a statement.

Kotze, who participated in the protest, said that the...

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