In October last year, Fikile Ntshangase, 65, was at her home in Ophondweni in South Africa when three men entered and shot her dead. The murder was witnessed by his 13-year-old grandson. So far no one has been charged with participating in the crime.
Daughter of Ntshangase Malungelo Kakaza He says Rachel Humphreys that his mother had been involved in a legal dispute over the extension of an open pit mine operated by Tendele Coal near Somkhele, near the Hluhluwe – Imfolozi park, the oldest nature reserve in Africa. She campaigned as part of the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organization.
The company has said that any link to Ntshangase’s death is completely unfounded and called it a “senseless murder”. Kirsten Youens, Ntshangase’s attorney tells Humphreys that she continues to fight the mine’s expansion.
Figures published this week by Global Witness shows that 227 people died in 2020 while trying to protect forests, rivers and other ecosystems on which their livelihoods depended.
The Guardian Global Environment Editor, Jonathan Watts, tells Rachel Humphreys that as world leaders prepare to head to Glasgow in November for the COP26 climate change conference, the human rights of environmental activists must be firmly on the agenda.