On 11 October 2019, after Extinction Rebellion (XR) protested outside the offices of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in Pretoria, the government released a statement to all media under the header 'DMRE committed to meaningful engagements with all stakeholders'. In the statement, they claimed that Minister Gwede Mantashe offered to meet our leadership but that we 'declined the invitation'.
See the statement from the Minister here
About 150 protesters participated in a diverse and peaceful but spirited demonstration outside the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy in Pretoria last Friday. Within hours, the department issued a statement asserting that we refused to meet with them.
For the record, we applied for permission for the gathering a number of weeks ago and were advised by the police relatively soon that a representative of the department would accept our open letter on the day. During the middle of our programme of protest a call came to the designated co-ordinator of the protest that the minister would like to talk.
One of us was tasked to go up to talk to the minister. After a brief wait he came out to meet our representative and briefly asked where our leadership was,...