Guide Our Land Before We Die

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The rest is emotive hearsay by self-interested, external anti-mining lobbyists who oppose the project on environmental grounds, but who offer no alternative and seem to want to condemn the Amadiba Pondoland to lack of development. Qunya said at least 10 families have voluntarily moved from the proposed mining area because of underdevelopment.

People there are not yet civilised. They still follow old traditions like polygamy. People are dying from HIV and Aids; they have no information. If our people are not educated there will be no change.


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Qunya said neither he nor any of the companies linked to him condones violence. The same applies to Lunga Baleni, the chief of the Amadiba Tribal Authority, which covers the uMgungundlovu tribal area — the epicentre of resistance to the proposed mining. He said the December violence was related to a dispute over a municipal ward that the leader of the anti-mining Amadiba Crisis Committee, Nonhle Mbuthuma, wanted to contest. He said Xolobeni is far from the area where mining would take place and that no prospecting would occur where people are living.

The environmental impact assessment [EIA] will determine this. When we came up with the idea of mining, no one was settling in that area. Asked why Xolobeni residents were moved to work at the West Coast operation of MSR Tormin, of which he is a director, he said the relocated workers are benefiting from learnerships. They are trainees in laboratories, the separation plant and mining. We must be equipped with skilled people from Xolobeni when mining starts.

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Baleni has been the ceremonial mouthpiece for the anti-mining resolutions of five coastal villages most affected by the Xolobeni Mineral Sands project. The ambush victims were allegedly leading anti-mining activists. About people from the Amadiba region, which includes the Xolobeni, Mdatya, Mtolani and Sigidi villages, attended the gathering, which amaBhungane witnessed.

Ngawethu [Power is ours]!

Most had walked many kilometres to attend the meeting, which took place in the open because the hall could not hold them all. The elderly and middle-aged outnumbered the young people in attendance; chairing the meeting was the year-old Mdatya leader, Zadla Dlamini. Metres away lay the Wild Coast. The slope to the sea is forested with wild fruit trees; fields of green mealies fill the valleys. The women seemed to be at the forefront of the anti-mining campaign; whenever one spoke, the crowd clapped and ululated. The speeches were angry. We are Pondo; we are prepared to die for our land.

Even in the past, our ancestors chose land and ignored a bag of money they had been offered for this same land. You can bring your machine guns. I am prepared to die for my land; I am not going anywhere. Afterwards, the older residents eagerly gathered to talk to Amadiba Crisis Committee secretary Nonhle Mbuthuma. Not a single voice spoke up for dune mining at Xolobeni. Mbuthuma said the police were invited to the imbizo but failed to appear. Instead, at 4am the previous night they launched the largest operation in local memory, raiding two villages for firearms.

Villagers told the imbizo that the police officers barged into their houses without warrants but failed to find guns or other dangerous weapons. It is an allegation that Brigadier Mtutuzeli Mtukushe, cluster commander of the stations in Mbizana, Ntabankulu and Mount Ayliff, denies. We also found lots of dagga plants. He insisted police do not take sides in local quarrels, because it is difficult to separate victim from perpetrator. Anti-mining activists claim that two of the most prominent local mining advocates, Zamile Qunya and Amadiba chief Lunga Baleni, appeared at the police station an hour after the arrests in a bid to bail out the suspects.

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The Amadiba Crisis Committee considers it significant that one of the suspects, Dimane, was a Xolobeni man employed at Tormin who had returned home to the Eastern Cape for the Christmas holidays. Conflict over mining in what has become known as Xolobeni — the most mineral-rich of the five planned mining blocks — has been smouldering for at least 10 years and periodically bursts into flames. In March last year, the company applied for a new permit to mine all five blocks.

The application is still pending — residents who are against the mining have blocked the required environmental impact assessment. Much is at stake: the Xolobeni operation, with a lifespan of more than 20 years, promises to be richer and longer-lasting than its West Coast counterpart. The lease area is sizeable — 22km long and 1. It is estimated to contain million tonnes of titanium-bearing minerals, including ilmenite, zircon, leucoxene and rutile, mainly used in pigment manufacture. But an Eastern Cape government study from the mids raised questions about the environmental hazards.

At the mercy of the tides

Also, this is a proclaimed marine protected area The company insists no one will be uprooted; the action committee dis-agrees. According to committee secretary Mbuthuma, about households face displacement and the farmland on which villagers depend will be devastated. Check it out! You can come to one day only or join us for both at a discounted rate. You can also find details below. Come to the Land of Enchantment with us!!

Transportation is organized for you and all you need to do is get yourself to the airport. So one thing we can do is this: Sit still. In nature. Feel the feels. Make room for it all. Listen to the creek flowing by. Let your heart get even more tender. Then more spacious. More tender. More spacious.

Silently greet the hummingbird who loves to visit the stillness. Breathe in suffering. Please bring your own cushion or camp chair, and whatever you need to be reasonably comfortable, including perhaps a spritz of bug spray and water to drink.

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There is no charge. Offered with humility, love, and deepest gratitude for these practices and for the beautiful canyon in which to gather. Join us for a daylong retreat of mindful movement and embodied meditation at Two Arrows Zen Center. Details are at the link above, or click the photo below. Have you been listening to our wonderful podcast???

The conversations are deeply enlivening. Have a listen! Details coming soon. Mark your calendar. Offered by donation.

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More details coming soon! Thanks so much for reading. Thanks for the privilege of allowing us space in your inbox and in your life. Grandpa tells Littlefoot about their mythical hero called the Lone Dinosaur. Sarah gets two little lively cousins to take care of. Later, the kids accidentally chip the lucky Saurus Rock, and need to fix it before the bad luck hits. An orphaned brontosaurus named Littlefoot sets off in search of the legendary Great Valley. A land of lush vegetation where the dinosaurs can thrive and live in peace. Along the way he meets four other young dinosaurs, each one a different species, and they encounter several obstacles as they learn to work together in order to survive.

What do you get when you cross a bunch of dinosurs and Don Bluth?? Answer: this memorable classic!!! My mum bought me this film when I was 5 or 6 years and I loved it. I was watching it this morning and there was still that Bluth magic. In case you dont know, the film is about 5 dinosaurs- a "long neck", a "three horn", a "big mouth", a "flyer" and a "spike tail". Theyre travelling to the Great Valley whilst trying to fight off Sharp tooth. What makes this film a classic is the way things are named.


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Its educational to kids on dinosaurs and is done in a childish way. Its brilliant!!!! There are lessons to be learn with friendships. The sequels dont match up to it but what do you expect??