R2K is appalled to learn that Mineral Commodities Limited (MRC), an Australian mining company is suing a West Coast community activist and two Centre for Environmental Rights attorneys for defamation.
We view this as nothing but a bullying and intimidation tactic by the company that has adopted an even more agreesive and contemptuous attitude and approach to the Amadiba Community after the community opposed a proposed mining project, as they felt that this project will destroy their livelihoods and the environment.
According to CER, the summons alleges that its attorneys Tracey Davies and Christine Reddell together with West Coast community activist, Davine Cloete, made defamatory statements about MRC’s subsidiary company, Mineral Sands Resources (MSR) and its director, Zamile Qunya, during presentations at the University of Cape Town’s Summer School in January this year.
R2K does not regard critical opinion and empirical facts as defamatory. Indeed, there are serious allegations that Qunya is linked to a number of attacks that targeted anti-mining activists and left two people dead in Xolobeni. it is clear that Qunya and MRC are now employing scare tactics against the lawyers who are providing legal assistance to the anti-mining activists.
R2K stands in solidarity with CER and Cloete as they continue to challenge corporate corruption, fight for environmental justice and speak truth to power.
In due course, R2K will be picketing at the Department of Mineral Resources offices and the Australian Embassy against MRC’s dodgy business dealings and in defence of freedom of expression.