Tendele Mine cries wolf about imminent closure, says attorney
As far back as December 2017, Tendele Mining has claimed that if it could not resolve the issue of relocation and compensation of families directly affected by planned mining expansion, the mine would close.
These claims were repeated in a series of management brief and open letters addressed to staff members and other stakeholders as well directly affected communities over the past three years.
Attorney Kirsten Youens, reckons that these letters amount to incitement and had “fuelled flames” of violence by blaming impending job losses on her clients. “It’s very hard to read them in any other way,” she said. They are included as annexures in court papers alleging that Tendele had resorted to coercion and intimidation to get families to sign relocation agreements.
In a February 2018 management brief to employees and subcontractors, Tendele CEO, Jan Du Preez discussed the future of the mine, stating that they could not move into new mining areas. tated: “It will be truly tragic if hard-working employees (some 1400 in total between us and our service providers) are prevented from continuing with their employment because a few community members choose to stand in the way of future development, and huge economic and social investment and upliftment in the community.” >> Read more
In May 2019, Tendele Mining stated that unless it could find “common ground” with the Directly Affected Communities (DACs), they would withdraw from negotiations and request arbitration or go to court. >> Read more
In “a plea for unity” in April 2019, an open letter from Tendele Mining CEO Jan du Preez slams the Global Enviromental Trust (GET) for taking Tendele to court in a bid to halt mining operations. The open letter warned that “without future mining areas…the Mine will stop operating by September 2019”. It stated it was “time to protect the mine against those people that would like to close the mine like the GET Foundation that continue to spread rumours, publish lies and deal in untruths.” >> Read more
In February 2020, Tendele issued “formal final offers” to several Ophondweni households which had yet to consent to relocation, giving them 14 days to respond or face legal action. >> Read more