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In October last year, Fikile Ntshangase, 65, was at her home in Ophondweni, South Africa when three men stormed in and she was shot dead. The murder was seen by her 13-year-old grandson. No one has so far been charged with participating in the crime.

Ntshangase’s daughter Malungelo Kakaza recount Rachel Humphreys that his mother had been involved in a dispute over the extension of an open-pit mine operated by Tendele Coal near Somkhele, near Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park, Africa’s oldest nature reserve. She campaigned for the Mfolozi Community Environmental Justice Organization.

The company said any connection to Ntshangase’s death was completely unfounded and called it a “senseless murder.” Kirsten Youens, Ntshangase’s lawyer tells Humphreys that she continues to fight the mine expansion.

Figures released this week by Global Witness show 227 people were killed in 2020 as they tried to protect the forests, rivers and other ecosystems on which their livelihoods depended.

The Guardian’s Global Environment Editor, Jonathan watts, told Rachel Humphreys that as world leaders prepare to travel to Glasgow in November for the Cop26 climate change conference, the human rights of environmental activists must be firmly on the agenda.

The murder of Fikile: the woman who attacked a coal mine |  New

Photograph: handout

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