Monday, 17 October 2016
Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement
Minister of Police Pays Damages to Ayanda Kota for 2012 Assault in the Grahamstown Police Station
On 12 January 2012 Ayanda Kota was subject to a serious assault, in the presence of his son (then six years old), in the Grahamstown police station. His trousers were pulled down to his ankles and he was beaten by a number of police officers. As the beating was taking place one of the police officers called others to ‘see the news-maker of the year now’.
The police assault followed an incident where a white Rhodes University academic laid a charge of theft against Kota after he misplaced two books which she had lent to him. Kota had repeatedly offered, in writing, to replace the books. Following this assault this academic made a number of dishonest and defamatory statements about Kota and the UPM. These were published on the right wing website Politicsweb. Politicsweb did not publish our detailed response to these dishonest statements. Andile Mngxitama, now an open propagandist for Jacob Zuma and the Guptas, also published a dishonest article written in response to the assault that our lawyers have confirmed is defamatory and which many people concluded was blatantly racist.
Ayanda sued the police for damages with the support of the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa. The Minister of Police has conceded that the assault took place and offered R120 000 in damages. The Minister will also pay all of the legal costs incurred by the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa.
At a time when police brutality is on the news at university campuses around the country the Unemployed People’s Movement welcomes this concession. We continue to oppose police brutality and to struggle for a socialist alternative to the crisis engulfing our country.
We unequivocally support the #feesmustfall. We stand in solidarity with the students. We are very firm and unwavering in the unity of the working class.
Siyamthanda Dyantyie 074 222 5882
Xolisa Runeli 073 640 0624