22 February 2024

The Cala University Students Association (CALUSA) joins the Kota family, the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM), the Makana Citizens Front (MCF) and the whole community of Makhanda, working class movements and civil society in South Africa in mourning the untimely passing of a dedicated revolutionary. Comrade Ayanda dedicated his whole life to the struggle for a better livelihood for the marginalised people of South Africa.

His unwavering commitment was demonstrated recently when the Unemployed People’s Movement successfully took to court the Eastern Cape provincial government and some members of the National Executive for failure to take action to deal with the crisis-ridden Makana Local Municipality. The UPM obtained a precedent-setting judgment wherein the court ordered the provincial executive to dissolve the Municipal Council in Makana and place the Municipality under administration as the council had failed in its constitutional obligations.

In March 2020, when the world was still trying to make sense of the global COVID-19 pandemic, CALUSA invited Comrade Ayanda to a seminar to share with the people of Sakhisizwe the experiences of the UPM in dealing with the state of collapse in Makhanda. This led to continuous discussions around building a provincial campaign focused on addressing the Municipal crisis and democratising municipalities from below.

Comrade Ayanda’s death comes at a time when South Africa has high levels of unemployment and poverty with no strategy to address these important socio-economic issues. Instead, political parties are focused on the upcoming elections.

His loss will not go unnoticed as he was an efficient organiser, an organic intellectual and strategist who made a significant contribution to the struggle of the working class and the left in South Africa.  He will be missed dearly.

We say Hamba Kakuhle Qabane, we will take a moment and reflect on the loss and continue the struggle where you left off as South Africa is not yet free.


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