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Write for Rights: Nonhle Mbuthuma Is Defending Her Ancestral Lands

Your words can and do make a difference!

42-year-old Nonhle Mbuthuma, is an Amadiba community leader in South Africa’s Eastern Cape and she is fighting back against Australian mining company, Mineral Commodities, doing a mineral extraction on her people’s ancestral land.


(Pictured: Nonhle Mbuthuma)

“The law says we have a right to be consulted, but what we say doesn’t seem to matter. We have told the company many times that we don’t want their mine. How many times do we have to say no?” she asked.

Amnesty International are asking the President of South Africa to protect Nonhle and to investigate the harassment and intimidation that is targeting her as she attempts to stop the mining companies pushing forwards.

Nonhle and her family have communal land rights that could be taken away if the mining goes ahead and approximately 5,000 people could be displaced. Nonhle is determined to fight back and said mining was simply not an option.

“This land was my grandmother’s, who inherited it from her grandparents. What am I going to leave for my children?” she said.

Nonhle said she fears for her safety and has been the target of death threats and told she is on a hit list.

“I wake up each morning and thank God I am still alive,” she said.

“I know I am a target. My husband and my family and friends are worried. They tell me to go into hiding. But I can’t do that. It’s not me. I choose this road.”

The good news is that when tens of thousands of people take action during Write for Rights, we know we can create change. That is because every year, real change happens as a direct result of Write for Rights.

It doesn’t take much to sign a petition, send an email or write a letter, but it could make a world of difference to those who need your help.


You can take action, protecting Nonhle and advocating for her fight against land rights by sending an email to the President of South Africa. Brave women like Nonhle need good activists to stand alongside her and join the fight for freedom and to protect against corrupt authorities.

#WriteForRights and join Amnesty International to fight the good fight supporting activists all around the world.

Words by Jacqui O’Leary

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