On 17 May 2022 Masifundise attended a community meeting hosted by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE). This meeting came as a result of continued harassment and violence meted out against small-scale fishers in the village of Mendwana in the Eastern Cape.

On 1 February 2022 Philasande Qhangaqha and his 3 friends went fishing in the Mbashe River to catch fish and mussels, when they were accosted by 9 Dwesa Nature Reserve rangers. These rangers, that had no identifying name tags, assaulted this group of young fishers and then tied them up with reeds and suffocated them with the clothes they were wearing.

This meeting sought to bring together the community of Mendwana as well as various stakeholders to discuss the much-needed protection of small-scale fishers while securing their livelihoods. It provided a moment for the community to advocate for their right to safety as well as their customary right to fish.

The community also highlighted the need for continued engagement between communities and officials to ensure that human rights infringements of this nature do not continue.

The meeting included the newly appointed Dwesa Nature Reserve Manager, traditional leadership, Regional Manager of the Eastern Cape Park and Tourism Agency (ECPTA), Community Property Association chairperson and deputy chairperson of Cwebe and Hobeni, various senior officials from DFFE and 80 Mendwana community members.

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