South Africa: Activists in Makana Municipality Case Fear for Their Lives


A number of activists who were involved in the court case that led to a landmark ruling by the Makhanda High Court have received threats, and a former president of the Unemployed People's Movement had to leave town after he was warned to 'be very careful'.

As the Unemployed People's Movement was celebrating its victory in its drawn-out battle to get the Makana municipality dissolved for failing to provide services to its residents, the messages started coming through.

"There were messages from everywhere. They all said the same thing: Be careful. Be very careful. Be careful. Be careful," a former president of the organisation, Ayanda Kota, said.

"You could actually feel how anxious those in power were.

"There is a long history in the Eastern Cape of what happens to people who go against their municipality. It happened in Buffalo City. There were threats in Nelson Mandela Bay. It happened in the Amatole Municipality."

Kota has since left town with his family, while his fellow activists are "making plans to stay safe".

Kota said another former president of the organisation, who died just before the judgment by Judge Igna Stretch refusing Premier Oscar Mabuyane and the Makana Municipality leave to...

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