By Tamlyn Jolly
A VEHICLE belonging to Bongani Pearce, Mpukunyoni Community Property Association Chairman (MCPA) and organiser of Monday’s march against the Mpukunyoni Traditional Council, was on Monday night burnt out and his office stoned.
The incident occurred at about midnight, when Pearce was awoken by the sound of a burning vehicle. ‘I woke up when I heard some noises in my yard and when I looked outside, I saw the van burning,’ said Pearce. ‘I did not go outside as I was worried about my safety but I alerted the police immediately’. Pearce said the police arrived just before 1am and a case was opened. ‘I could not see how many people there were, I just saw shadows running away’. Apart from the burnt out vehicle, Pearce’s office on the same property was stoned. Reports of gunfire were unconfirmed.
While environmental and social groups that are supportive of the community’s plight against living in an area affected by mining activities fear for the safety of Pearce and other MCPA members, said members remain united in their quest to live a life unaffected by the effects of mining.
On Monday the community marched to the Mpukunyoni Traditional Council offices in Somkhele and handed a memorandum of grievances to a COGTA representative. Community members feel the traditional council has failed them in protecting them from the effects of Somkhele mine.
This article appeared in the Zululand Observer on 17 March, 2016