The unfortunate case of the Chaneng activists who were wrongly arrested on account of formenting public violence has been postponed four times already due to the state’s inability to provide evidence against the activists.
The case was first heard on 10th November 2010 and got postponed to the 14th January 2011 on account that the activists did not have legal representation. It was then postponed to the 14th February 2011 on account that the state did not have evidence. Again on the 14th February it got postponed to the 25th February 2011, and then 07th March 2011. From the 07th March 2011 it was again postponed to the 26th May 2011 for trial. The delay is as a result of the States’ inability to bring evidence before the court.
The arrests happened after the Chaneng community’s march demonstration against against repressive practices by the State, the Bafokeng tribal chief, the judiciary, the Municipality and the mines (Anglo Platinum, Royal Bafokeng Platinum, Xstrata and Impala) operating in their area. The catalyst to the march was the the brutal demolition of tuckshops in their village ordered by the Royal Bafokeng Nation’s chief. The community is itself part of the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN). The community is against the Royal Bafokeng Platinum’s new Styldrift Mine Project which the community says is not only unlawful but will also bring hardships to the community. The community claim that the project has not provided jobs; has taken agricultural land; will bring foreign mine labour into the community that will disturb their peace and alter their cultural norms; will erect rock and slime dumps next to the community; and that the community will be without residential land in the next ten or so years.