7 August 2023

Dear Members, Supporters, and Concerned Individuals,

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of MACUA and the MACUA/WAMUA Advice Office (MWAO), collectively wish to address recent unfortunate developments on social media.
Mining-affected communities in South Africa have borne the brunt of an exploitative and corrupt industry that places profits before people. It is within this backdrop that MACUA was born, fueled by a firm conviction for justice and change. Together, we stand resolute in the pursuit of accountability, justice, and a mining sector that is characterised by fairness, centralising the needs of the very communities it profoundly impacts.
Certain individuals, who currently find themselves in a strained standing within the movement, have resorted to making unfounded and damaging allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment against the Executive Director of the Advice Office, Christopher Rutledge. We condemn such actions in the strongest terms, as they not only tarnish the reputation of an individual who has tirelessly championed the cause of marginalised mining-affected communities but also attempt to divert attention from the core issue and fundamental mission of MACUA.
We want to assure our members and supporters that we take allegations of this nature seriously and recognise the importance of addressing them with the utmost sensitivity and integrity. However, it is deeply concerning to witness these allegations surface at a time when we are actively engaging in discussions about financial transparency and questionable relationships with mining companies.
We reject any attempts to undermine the credibility of the movement by diverting attention through such baseless accusations. We urge all stakeholders to consider the broader context and maintain focus on– accountability, justice, and the pursuit of a mining industry that centralises and serves affected communities.
We stand united in our support of Christopher Rutledge. We believe in due process and the principles of fairness, and we are confident that any legitimate concerns will be addressed through appropriate platforms.
In our unwavering commitment to accountability, we also call upon all members to uphold the highest standards of conduct and to engage in discussions that contribute to the advancement of our cause. We must work together to ensure that our movement remains a catalyst for meaningful change.
MACUA reiterates our fixed dedication to the values that have guided us from the very beginning – justice, transparency, and accountability. As stipulated in the movement’s constitution and code of conduct, failure to adhere to the constitution and to avoid actions that bring disrepute to the movement will result in disciplinary proceedings by the National Executive Committee. This is essential to safeguard the movement’s mission and, most importantly, the well-being of the communities we serve.
We will not be deterred in our fight for a just and equitable future for all mining-affected communities.
“Nothing About Us Without Us.” Let us unite and stand strong, the road ahead is long and challenging. But together we can create real change.
Meshack Mbangula – National Coordinator of MACUA
Maureen Seshoka – National Convenor of WAMUA
Fatima Vally- MACUA WAMUA Advice Office Programmes Director