Let’s not forget those that stood up to corporate power and the elite - In memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Fikile Ntshangase and ‘Bazooka’ Radebe.

Activists during the #JusticeForFikileNtshangse  protest march in Mtubatuba on the 22nd of October 2021

Activists during the #JusticeForFikileNtshangse protest march in Mtubatuba on the 22nd of October 2021.
Pic. Lunga Bhengu

10 November 2021 - Today Africans commemorate the day that Ken Saro-Wiwa and his fellow activist were murdered by the Nigerian state 26 years ago, as a result of their resistance to Shell in Ogoniland, Nigeria.  The eight others community activists were, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine from Ogoniland.  They - the Ogoni Nine – were hanged by the government of Sani Abacha, because of their resistance and opposing the exploitation of oil by Shell.

From the 22-24 September 2021 more than 260 Africans gathered representing 70 organisations from 26 countries to reflect on their resistance to coal and dirty energy expansion, energy poverty on the African continent The meeting reflected on the violence of coal and other extractive industries on the continent. After 3 days of dialogue, the 3rd Africa Coal Network gathering took a decision to call on President Ramaphosa to act with urgency and sincerity in tracking down and bringing to justice those implicated in the murder ofMama Fikile NtshangaseToday we address this media release to The President of South Africa to act with speed and personal commitment to find those that murdered Mama Fikile Ntshangase.

At the Africa Coal Network gathering we heard from coal mining struggles in Tete, Mozambique, to resistance to coal fired power station proposals in Lamu, Kenya.  We heard from the resistance to Chinese financed development in Sengwa, Zimbabwe to Ekumfi, Ghana.  We have heard of gender justice and dismantling of patriarchy from activist in Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe.  We recognise that a just transition must be one that is rooted in democracy, gender justice and non-violence.

We not only heard about struggle, we celebrated our victories. China is no longer going to fund coal in Africa.  We also heard from many mobilisations across our continent that are building a movement for a just transition and saying No to Coal and Dirty Energy.  Mobilisations in Cameron, Tanzania and Togo for renewable energy future.

We however are saddened by how our political elite work with corporates to make Africa poorer and more vulnerable to climate change because of their fixation on coal, oil and gas.  The fixation has resulted in violence and in October 2020, the murder of Mama Fikile Ntshangase for her stance against coal.  A year later - despite various calls - the South Africa government has not acted to find those responsible for her murder.

We have also heard from activist that have had to go into hiding in Nigeria, being shot with rubber bullets in Mozambique and South Africa. We commit ourselves to continue our resistance and fight for a new Africa and new world. We call for a stop to the violence and the closing of democratic spaces and we commit ourselves to strengthening our work and demands for just transition.

We remember Saro-Wiwa, Ntshangase, Radebe and all others who sought to protect our earth.  Let’s protect those that protect the earth.


For more information contact:
Lorraine Chiponda
Africa Coal Network
+263 77 252 2018

Tsepang Molefe
groundWork, Friends of the Earth South Africa
+27 74 405 1257