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One year ago, near the picturesque Wild Coast village of Mdatya, while the soothing strains of the Christmas carol “Silent Night, Holy Night” were still echoing tidings of goodwill and peace to all humankind, another child was born in the early hours of New Year’s morn.

Akolwa Ndovela was born, not in a stable but under a Waterberry tree where her mother was hiding with her older siblings, having been chased out of their home by armed thug’s intent on clearing the way for MRC Ltd, an Australian mining company, and their local BEE partner Xolco to mine their ancestral lands for titanium.

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About John GI Clarke

John Clarke hopes to write the wrongs of the world, informed by his experience as a social worker and theologian, to actualise fundamental human rights and satisfy fundamental human needs.  He has lived in the urbanised concentration of Johannesburg, but has worked mainly in the rural reaches of the Wild Coast for the past decade.  From having paid a fortune in toll fees he believes he has earned the right to be critical of Sanral and other extractive institutions, and has not held back while supporting Sustaining the Wild Coast (, the Southern African Faith Communities Environment Institute ( and the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (, in various ways.