Media Release – Tendele/Somkhele Coal Mining Case

Notice: The Somkhele and Fuleni communities neighbouring the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park unite on 24th August 2018 at the Pietermaritzburg High Court in their resistance against the ongoing illegal mining by Tendele Coal Mining (PTY) LTD and its proposed expansion.

PIETERMARITZBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: In an application to be heard in the high court in Pietermaritzburg, evidence will be tabled before Judge Seegobin of how, since 2017, the mine has been violating the National Environmental Management Act by breaching environmental and other laws. The mining company operates illegally next to arguably the most sensitive area in South Africa, with the largest population of rhinos in the world.  

Tendele’s human rights abuses and negative impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the greater Mpukunyoni area, where Somkhele is situated, will be tabled in various reports, including the South African Human Rights Commission’s recently released report on hearings with mining affected communities that include Somkhele.  Meanwhile, Tendele plans to expand its operation and has identified 124 households to be moved from their rightful land. Many more families will lose their livelihoods and have their lives and health destroyed by living in close proximity to the mine.

“Furthermore, environmental degradation, and the failure to conserve biodiversity, prejudice the realisation of numerous other human rights, particularly the right to equality, but also the rights of access to sufficient food and water, health, housing, land and ultimately, the right to live with dignity.”  [Extract from SAHRC report, p.41]

The application is brought forward by The Global Environment Trust (GET) and members of Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organization (MCEJO) who believe #LawApplies2All.  The applicants seek that the court interdicts and restrains Tendele Mining company from carrying on any mining operation in the area until it has complied with the law.

Kirsten Youens, attorney for the applicants sums it up by saying: “We are relying on our judicial system to ensure that justice is done. The law must be complied with by all, not a select few. This is an opportunity for a clear statement to be made that it is unacceptable for mining companies to comply with the law after they have already commenced mining and only when ordered to do so. The environment and thousands of people’s lives are at stake.”

ENDS

For the latest on this case see the following links:

The Truth about Tendele – Mine throws Lie Line: https://wp.me/p768Un-HN

Summary of the Court case with links to court papers: https://wp.me/p768Un-HV

For background on Save our iMfolozi Wilderness Campaign: https://saveourwilderness.org

Photo album on Tendele mine: https://adobe.ly/2MrWrmz

Case Details:

Applicants:

  1. Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organization (MCEJO)
  2. Global Environmental Trust (GET)
  3. Sabelo Dladla

Main Respondent (See Court Application for 8 others, none of which will address the court):                      

  1. Tendele Coal Mining (Pty) Ltd

Place: Pietermaritzburg High Court (Pietermaritzburg CBD)

Date: 9h30 sharp on 24 August 2018

Contacts:

Kirsten Youens, Legal advisor for GET and MCEJO – 0612266868

Sabelo Dladla, MCEJO, Second Applicant –  0834647671

Sheila Berry, Spokesperson for the Global Environmental Trust – 082 295 7328

One Comment

  1. I really hope that common sense and the rights of the community and the environment will prevail. Good luck to all who have been fighting so hard and for so long to ensure that the right ruling is made. And hopefully it will send the correct message to any future plans which put profit above everything and everyone else.

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