Update: Ayanda Kota was released at 14:45 this afternoon on a bail of R500. There were visible marks from the assault on his head, arms, chest and back. His clothes were torn and blood stained. He will be laying criminal and civil charges against the officers who assaulted him.
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement
Friday 13 January 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Movement S.A, calls upon the South African Police
Services and the state to release Ayanda Kota NOW!
Abahlali baseMjondolo calls upon Grahamstown based South African Police Services to immediately release Ayanda Kota, after his senseless arrest and assault. These kinds of senseless arrests and attacks on social movement activists must come to an end, if democracy is to prevail.
There have been many Ayandas in South Africa since our new ‘democratic dispensation’ who have suffered in the hands of those who are meant to protect us, we are also one of them.
We remember Tebogo Mkhonza who was shot to death during the protest in Ntabaze, Harrismith, a few years ago.
We remember Monica Ngcobo from uMlazi E -Section, Durban who was shot to death during the protest in 2006, against imposed an councilor during the local government election in 2006.
We remember Mama Nondumiso Mke from Kennedy Road, Clare-Estate in Durban who was also shot during the protest to demand the release of Philani Zungu and S’bu Zikode who were also arrested, assaulted and tortured in the Sydenham police station and charged with all kinds of framed up charges which the police are yet to answer.
And of cause we remember Andries Tatane, from Fickburg whose blood will forever be remembered for our true democracy.
We also remember Alfred General Moyo from Makause settlement in Johannesburg, Ashraf Cassiem of the Western Cape Anti -Eviction Campaign and Mzonke Poni of Abahlali BaseMjondolo of Western Cape, who all suffered in the mobilized hands of the police and ANC led thugs.
Ayanda Kota is the chairperson of the Unemployed Peoples Movement in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, whom Abahlali and the poor have high respect for. So the attack on Ayanda is an attack on all of us who believe in Democracy from below. Abahlali believe the ‘book’ scandal at Rhodes University and the academic in question is another hidden tool to legitimize and justify the senseless arrest and attack on Ayanda. We have heard how the Makana Municipality and the police have accused Ayanda of having dominated the news in 2011. We want to salute Ayanda and the UPM for standing firm against the apartheid bucket system, corruption and undemocratic behaviour in the Makana Municipality. We call upon the UPM and all democrats to intensify the war against all forms of injustices in our country. We call upon the state and its all institutions to fight corruption, the bucket system and maladministration where ever they show themselves.
We have no doubt that the court will release Ayanda as it is not political court. He has been released before like many other activists without prosecution.
For more comments:
Zodwa Nsibande on 071 1834388
S’bu Zikode on 083 5470474
Bheki Simelane on 078 5989491