Ayanda Kota is an activist who was the founding chairperson of the Unemployed Peoples' Movement in Grahamstown, South Africa. He is also the President of the Makana Football Association. His political roots are in the black consciousness movement and he is strongly critical of the ruling African National Congress. He is currently the organiser for the Unemployed People's Movement.
Arrest and assault
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. A number of organisations issued statements in response to the arrest. 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.
All charges against Kota were withdrawn a month after the arrest.
In October 2016 the Minister of Police admitted that the assault had taken place and agreed to pay Kota R250 00 in compensation.
Role during 2015 xenophobia crisis
Some of his published articles are:
- SA, we cannot say we are free, Ayanda Kota, Afro-Spear, 2011
- Malema does not speak for poor youths, Ayanda Kota, Mail & Guardian, 2011
- Secrecy Bill shows ANC's historic mission is over, Ayanda Kota, Mail & Guardian, December 2011
- ANC centenary a display of elite power, Ayanda Kota, Links, January 2012
- Time for radical action on the unemployment crisis, Ayanda Kota, Pambazuka, 17 May 2012
- Apartheid petty and grand, old and new is evil, Ayanda Kota, Pambazuka, 26 April 2012
- The Marikana mine workers massacre: a massive escalation in the war on the poor, Ayanda Kota, San Francisco Bay View, 18 August 2012
- Biko’s struggle goes on, Ayanda Kota, Grocott's Mail, 12 September 2013
- Don’t vote for these messiahs, Ayanda Kota, GroundUp, 2 April 2014
- In Memory of Comrade Nkosi Molala - Honorary President of the Black Consciousness Movement, Ayanda Kota, GroundUp, 22 September 2016
- Occupy South Africa on the Global Occupy Map
- Mixed feelings after Centenary celebrations, South African Broadcasting Corporation, 9 January 2012
- Kota steps down, Stuart Thembisile Lewis, Student News Grid, 10 May 2012
- Makana stars shine at soccer awards, Malibongwe Maxhawulana, Grocott's Mail, 14 March 2011
- Dissident Voices from South Africa, IndyMedia UK
- Ayanda Kota: Unapologetic ANC apostate, by Mandy de Waal, The Daily Maverick, 7 February 2012
- Eastern Cape's so-called health system: In dire need of resuscitation, by Mandy de Waal, The Daily Maverick, June 2012
- State to get tough on violent protesters, The Herald, 15 February 2013 Quinton Mtyala
- Picket sparks City Hall action, Thembani Onceya. Grocott's Mail, 3 May 2013
- Outcry over ‘savage assault’ Archived January 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., ADRIENNE CARLISLE and DAVID MACGREGOR, The Daily Dispatch, 14 January 2012
- Grahamstown activist arrested for book theft FARANAAZ PARKER, Mail & Guardian, Jan 13 2012
- UPM leader arrested and allegedly beaten by police, Desiree Schirlinger & Michael Salzwedel, Grocott's Mail, 13 January 2012
- Amnesty International Annual Report - South Africa,2013
- Ayanda Kota Assaulted in the Grahamstown Police Station - Under Arrest, Unemployed People's Movement
- Students for Social Justice Statement on the Arrest of Ayanda Kota, Students for Social Justice
- Ayanda Kota: We are all in the same boat Archived April 23, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., The Mandela Park Backyarders
- Drop Charges Against Ayanda Kota Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., Democratic Left Front
- Release Ayanda Kota Now!, Abahlali baseMjondolo
- Ayanda Kota's Response to Claudia Martinez-Mullen, January 2012
- No charges, but cops still want to throw the book at Kota, FARANAAZ PARKER, Mail & Guardian, 2012
- Activist to get compensated following police assault, David Doochin, GroundUp, 16 October 2016
- Xenophobia in Grahamstown: 'We are not leaving!', KJ VAN RENSBURG, F MTHONTI & M ERSKOG, The Daily Maverick, 29 October 2015
- OHalloran, P. (2016). "Contested Space and Citizenship in Grahamstown, South Africa". Journal of Asian and African Studies. ISSN 0021-9096. doi:10.1177/0021909616664920.