Category Archives: Ayanda Kota

UPM: Minister of Police Pays Damages to Ayanda Kota for 2012 Assault in the Grahamstown Police Station

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’. Continue reading

Makana Municipality Blames Xenophobia on the ‘Third Force’

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Unemployed People’s Movement Press Statement


Makana Municipality Blames Xenophobia on the ‘Third Force’

On Wednesday a number of the people displaced in the xenophobic attacks and their families decided to hold an all night vigil outside the City Hall. This decision was taken after they were told that the men had to leave the safe accommodation by noon on Friday as the municipality was unwilling to pay the bill. It was not safe for them to return to the community and they had nowhere else to go. They were in a desperate situation. This was why they decided that it was necessary to protest. Continue reading

GroundUp: Don’t vote for these messiahs

We have the vote but the political parties do not represent the aspirations of the people, writes Ayanda Kota, founder of the Unemployed People’s Movement.

Elections should be the season of hope. Steve Biko declared that our fight was for an open society, a society where the colour of a person's skin will not be a point of reference or departure, a society in which each person has one vote.

We have the vote but the political parties do not represent the aspirations of the people. Millions of black people remain poor and oppressed. When we organise outside of the ANC we are violently repressed.

Continue reading

Cape Argus: Meet the pioneer of poo protests

Meet the pioneer of poo protests

Daneel Knoetze

Cape Town – The man who pioneered faeces-dumping protests at government offices has expressed his support for the shack dwellers in Cape Town who have adopted the strategy.

But Ayanda Kota, founder of the Grahamstown-based civic organisation the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), says he is concerned that the fight for better sanitation in informal settlements has been mired in “party politics and electioneering” between the ANC and DA ahead of next year’s general election.

In October 2011, the UPM joined the Occupy movement and staged an “Occupy Grahamstown” in solidarity with poor and marginalised people from around the world.

The Occupy movement is an international protest against social and economic inequality.

The Occupy Grahamstown protest reached a climax when Kota and a handful of his fellow activists charged into Grahamstown’s City Hall (where the Makana municipality’s offices are housed) and dumped bucket loads of human excrement in the foyer.

“This is their s***, this is not our s***,” Kota had told protesters moments before.

Speaking to the Cape Argus in Grahamstown at the weekend, Kota reiterated his support for faeces dumping as a form of protest.

“It takes the suffering that is usually hidden away as a private shame and makes it a public embarrassment to the government… When people experience their suffering as a private shame, things don’t change. But when this suffering becomes politicised and collective action can be taken, especially in elite spaces, things really can change.”

Questioned about the current spate of similar protests and subsequent political and civic debates about sanitation in Cape Town, Kota stuck to his views.

He noted with concern, however, that the ANC had seized the opportunity to denounce the DA’s sanitation service delivery in the province as part of a bid to win back the province in next year’s elections.

Although the ANC has denounced the ringleaders – former ANC ward councillor Andile Lili and ANC Youth League member Loyiso Nkohla – President Jacob Zuma expressed his disgust at the DA’s lack of service delivery during a visit to the Imizamo Yethu informal settlement outside Hout Bay last month.

Lili and Nkohla have also denounced the DA, and the DA has responded by variously claiming that the protests are part of the ANC’s campaign to reclaim the province, and by denying the existence of a sanitation crisis in Cape Town’s informal settlements.

Kota said: “This should not be about party politics; it is about both the DA and the ANC’s failures where they respectively hold government offices. These challenges are being experienced all over the country.”

He pointed out that the UPM’s 2011 protest in Grahamstown was against an ANC municipality.

“The ANC goes all out to attack the DA for the way that it treats poor black people in Cape Town while saying nothing at all about how badly poor black people are treated in Johannesburg or Durban.

“What is happening in Cape Town is not motivated by a concern for human dignity. It is motivated by a concern for elections and for access to the state and the tenders that come with state power.”