Ayanda Kota

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Ayanda Kota is an activist who was the founding chairperson of the Unemployed Peoples' Movement in Grahamstown, South Africa.[1][2][3] He is also the President of the Makana Football Association.[4] His political roots are in the black consciousness movement[5] and he is strongly critical of the ruling African National Congress.[6][7][8] He is currently the organiser for the Unemployed People's Movement.[9]

Arrest and assault[edit]

On 12 January 2012 he was arrested on a charge of theft after failing to return three books that he had borrowed from a local academic. He was subject to police assault while in custody.[10][11][12][13][14] A number of organisations issued statements in response to the arrest.[15][16][17][18] Kota later stated that he had misplaced the books in question and had repeatedly offered to replace them and that this offer had been clearly communicated to the police.[19]

All charges against Kota were withdrawn a month after the arrest.[20]

In October 2016 the Minister of Police admitted that the assault had taken place and agreed to pay Kota R250 00 in compensation.[21]

Role during 2015 xenophobia crisis[edit]

In October 2015 Grahamstown was wracked by serious xenophobic violence. Kota played a key role in grassroots work to oppose xenophobia.[22][23]


Some of his published articles are:


  1. ^ Occupy South Africa on the Global Occupy Map
  2. ^ Mixed feelings after Centenary celebrations, South African Broadcasting Corporation, 9 January 2012
  3. ^ Kota steps down, Stuart Thembisile Lewis, Student News Grid, 10 May 2012
  4. ^ Makana stars shine at soccer awards, Malibongwe Maxhawulana, Grocott's Mail, 14 March 2011
  5. ^ Dissident Voices from South Africa, IndyMedia UK
  6. ^ Ayanda Kota: Unapologetic ANC apostate, by Mandy de Waal, The Daily Maverick, 7 February 2012
  7. ^ Eastern Cape's so-called health system: In dire need of resuscitation, by Mandy de Waal, The Daily Maverick, June 2012
  8. ^ State to get tough on violent protesters, The Herald, 15 February 2013 Quinton Mtyala
  9. ^ Picket sparks City Hall action, Thembani Onceya. Grocott's Mail, 3 May 2013
  10. ^ Outcry over ‘savage assault’ Archived January 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., ADRIENNE CARLISLE and DAVID MACGREGOR, The Daily Dispatch, 14 January 2012
  11. ^ Grahamstown activist arrested for book theft FARANAAZ PARKER, Mail & Guardian, Jan 13 2012
  12. ^ UPM leader arrested and allegedly beaten by police, Desiree Schirlinger & Michael Salzwedel, Grocott's Mail, 13 January 2012
  13. ^ Amnesty International Annual Report - South Africa,2013
  14. ^ Ayanda Kota Assaulted in the Grahamstown Police Station - Under Arrest, Unemployed People's Movement
  15. ^ Students for Social Justice Statement on the Arrest of Ayanda Kota, Students for Social Justice
  16. ^ Ayanda Kota: We are all in the same boat Archived April 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., The Mandela Park Backyarders
  17. ^ Drop Charges Against Ayanda Kota Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Democratic Left Front
  18. ^ Release Ayanda Kota Now!, Abahlali baseMjondolo
  19. ^ Ayanda Kota's Response to Claudia Martinez-Mullen, January 2012
  20. ^ No charges, but cops still want to throw the book at Kota, FARANAAZ PARKER, Mail & Guardian, 2012
  21. ^ Activist to get compensated following police assault, David Doochin, GroundUp, 16 October 2016
  22. ^ Xenophobia in Grahamstown: 'We are not leaving!', KJ VAN RENSBURG, F MTHONTI & M ERSKOG, The Daily Maverick, 29 October 2015
  23. ^ OHalloran, P. (2016). "Contested Space and Citizenship in Grahamstown, South Africa". Journal of Asian and African Studies. ISSN 0021-9096. doi:10.1177/0021909616664920.