The Department of Mineral Resources has confirmed that it will appeal the landmark ruling on mining in Xolobeni.
Mineral Resources DG, Adv. Thabo Mokoena has disputed claims that the department has disrespected the courts and the community.
Last year, the Pretoria High Court ruled that Minerals Minister Gwede Mantashe cannot issue a mining right in Xolobeni, in the Eastern Cape, without the consent of the residents.
Read: #Xolobeni: ‘Was the minister here to listen to us or preach to us?’
The ruling follows years of fighting between the government, mining companies and communities in the area.
Meanwhile, the community of Xolobeni says that it will fight Mantashe up to the Constitutional Court if he fails to properly consult them regarding mining in the area.
Read also: Victorious mining rights court ruling for Xolobeni community
Mantashe visited the area last week but the meeting ended on a tense note after police used stun grenades to disperse the crowd.
The Amadiba crisis committee says the department has continued to show disregard for the Xolobeni community.
Read more: In-depth look at the significance of the Xolobeni mining judgment
The committee’s Nonhle Mbuthuma maintains that the department cannot coerce the community to consent.
Presenter Eusebius McKaiser hosted a discussion with the department, the Amadiba crisis group, human rights lawyer Richard Spoor and Action Aid to discuss the impasse about mining in Xolobeni.
“The government keeps pushing to come back to our community despite the judgement that made it clear that we must give consent.”
— Nonhle Mbuthuma, coordinator of the Amadiba Crisis Committee
“The ruling says the community has the right to consider the application for mining rights and decide whether they are prepared to give up the land or not.”
— Richard Spoor, human rights lawyer
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