Animal rights group takes on Mpumalanga mine

The organisation was forced to slaughter fish and birds affected by water from Optimum Coal's mine, Middelburg SPCA manager Petro Oosthuizen said in a statement.

"[Previous] investigations confirmed that the deaths of thousands of fish and the secondary poisoning of birds resulted from contaminated water being pumped into the dam by the mine.

"There were thousands of dead fish and large numbers in the throes of death whose suffering was mercifully ended."

The SPCA had to obtain a warrant to get access to the Eikeboom pan, which is on privately-owned land, when they were denied entry on March 7.

"It is evident that the mine had both the technical knowledge as well as the means to prevent this from occurring, instead they chose to try and prevent us from assisting dying animals," Oosthuizen said.

She said Optimum Coal used the Eikeboom pan for discharging mine water and had done so for over 15 years.

Middelburg police could not immediately be reached for comment. – Sapa

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Guest Author

Odd drop in how Covid-19 numbers grow

As the country hunkers down for a second week of lockdown, how reliable is the data available and will it enable a sound decision for whether South Africans can leave their homes on April 16?

Mail & Guardian needs your help

Our job is to help give you the information we all need to participate in building this country, while holding those in power to account. But now the power to help us keep doing that is in your hands

Press Releases

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world

SAB Zenzele special AGM rescheduled to March 25 2020

New voting arrangements are being made to safeguard the health of shareholders