September 24, 2017

Fear, uncertainty following Mafia-style assassination of anti-mining body leader

The assassination of the leader of a lobby group opposed to mining of titanium in the South Africa’s Eastern Cape Coast area on 22 March 2016 has brought an atmosphere of apprehension.

Hapless Amadiba Crisis Committee chairperson, Sikhosiphi “Bazooka” Rhadebe, met his fate when he was shot multiple times in his upper body, according Eastern Cape police spokesperson Lt Khaya Tonjeni.  

“Mzamba SAPS can confirm that a case of murder is under investigation following the shooting incident reported yesterday at Plangeni, Lurholweni Township, Mbizana at about 21:30,” said Tonjeni.

In a statement, Amadiba committee members, Mzamo Dlamini and Nonhle Mbuthum, have termed the death of their colleague, “an assassination. They said: “Bazooka made the ultimate sacrifice defending our ancestral land of Amadiba on the Wild Coast.”

Dlamini and Mbuthum, said they believed Rhadebe’s wasn’t an ordinary crime. Recounting the incident they said:  “The hitmen came in a white Polo with a rotating blue lamp on the roof. Two men knocked at the door saying they were the police. Mr Rhadebe was shot with eight bullets in the head. He died defending his young son, who witnessed the murder. His son and his wife are now in hospital.”

Hiring of assassins to eliminate opponents standing in the way of fulfilling business and political interests is not uncommon in South Africa. It was rife during the days of apartheid but has persisted post-1994, after the dawn of the country’s multiracial democracy.   Just last year, a prominent leader of a union body was assassinated in broad daylight and no suspects have been found since.

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