[Debate] Ayanda's response to the allegations of theft.
ecopeace at gmail.com
Thu Jan 26 07:05:16 GMT 2012
Ayanda once told he was a Leninist: When I ask how his lecturer felt about
this, since I knew that he considered this to be the ‘authoritarian left’,
Ayanda was at a loss – he had not discussed it with him at that time.
Anyway Ayanda is free to change his views.
On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 9:47 PM, Anna Majavu <annamajavu at gmail.com> wrote:
> This is the same story that has repeated itself over and over again
> throughout the years in South Africa, and the rest of the world. In
> Cape Town, many Black working class/unemployed activists purposely
> avoid white leftists so that they don't even begin to get near running
> the risk of being abused in this way.
> As for this - "In February 2010 Claudia insisted that I read the three
> books in question. This was after conversation in which she maintained
> that I cannot subscribe to nationalism and still be a
> Marxist-Leninist" - this is the tragedy of the Stalinist/Trotskyite
> left globally, and it is extremely well known. I know only about 3
> Trotskyites in South Africa who don't "befriend" activists without the
> hidden intention of insisting that they read certain books and
> thereafter become members of their small faction. The irony is that
> when one refuses to subscribe to their views or join their group, then
> they claim that their "friendship" has been betrayed, or they label
> the unrecruitable activist as a Nationalist, right wing or a lumpen,
> and then go on a vicious whispering campaign against the activist.
> Hopefully these practices will come to an end with the new generation...
> On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 6:54 PM, Benjamin Fogel <gonzostig at gmail.com>
> > My Response to Claudia Martinez Mullen
> > My arrest and subsequent assault by the police sparked debate in the
> > domain, particular on the left. However my concern is with the statement
> > issued by Claudia Martinez Mullen after I was arrested and assaulted. She
> > accuses me of being a thief, she says that there is no democracy in UPM
> > that there has been misappropriation of UPM funds. She also says that UPM
> > members have intimidated members of the Women's Social Forum to stop
> > with her.
> > I had thought that in her response Claudia Martinez Mullen would respond
> > the allegations of theft. I was wrong, it was not enough for her to put
> > behind bars. In her article she continued with her vicious attack on my
> > personal integrity.
> > This has placed a cloud over my head. My response is warranted. I know
> > it can’t be forever cloudy. I shall know the colour of the sky. The rays
> > the sun will push through the dark cloud.
> > On the Allegation of Theft
> > In February 2010 Claudia insisted that I read the three books in
> > This was after conversation in which she maintained that I cannot
> > to nationalism and still be a Marxist-Leninist. I’ve never said I am a
> > Marxist-Leninist. In her words, she said that I must stop this fantasy
> > Frantz Fanon and Steve Biko. On her insistence I took the three books.
> > When we started our movement we had no money of our own. After some of us
> > were arrested in February 2011 Claudia promised to help with the legal
> > costs. She then tried to misuse our dependence on her money to force us
> > accept her political line. She said that she wouldn't pay the lawyer if
> > didn't do what she told us to do. She told us that we must stop working
> > comrades whose ideas she disagreed with. She was very hostile to anyone
> > had ideas that were different to hers and especially to anyone that spoke
> > about Fanon and Biko or anyone who thought that the movement's members
> > should take important decisions for the movement in open mass meetings
> > rather than experts in Marxism-Leninism taking decisions for the
> > In May 2011, on the eve of the local government elections, Claudia
> > that the UPM must support small parties in meetings held at Rhodes
> > University, Phaphamani and eThembeni. That view was not supported in
> > discussions in these meetings. Again she questioned the political line of
> > the UPM. She again said that UPM was not a Marxist Leninist movement. She
> > was very angry and she did not accept the decision. There was a time when
> > she insisted that UPM must have a campaign against World Bank and IMF. We
> > decided not to do this because our members wanted to address issues
> > their lives, like toilets and rape. Again she was very angry and did not
> > accept the decision.
> > The elections were in May 2011. In June 2011 Claudia demanded her books
> > back. I looked for the books. I looked everywhere for the books. I asked
> > my friends and comrades if they had perhaps borrowed them. I did not find
> > them. These books were not stolen. They were mislaid. As an activist one
> > to move around a lot, especially when there are death threats and your
> > is being watched and your family harassed. I am sorry that the books were
> > mislaid but it was not done on purpose.
> > I then offered to compensate Claudia for the books. I asked her to let me
> > know the titles so that I could replace them. This she refused, citing
> > the books were sentimental to her. In July I received a call from the
> > Grahamstown Police Station saying that Claudia has accused me of theft. I
> > told the police that I had offered to replace the books. In August I sent
> > Claudia an sms offering to replace the books. I still have this sms.
> > If Claudia spoke to comrades to intervene as she claims, whom did she
> > to? If I stole books from her house, this is a serious offence! I mean
> > should have spoken to one or two comrades about the theft. But she spoke
> > no one. She only became angry about the books when it became clear to her
> > that the members of the UPM would take decisions about the movement's
> > political choices and that we would not accept instruction from her. She
> > never raised the issue of the books before she became enraged after we
> > didn't accept her line on the local government elections.
> > I joined the struggle at the tender age of 14 years. I have never stolen
> > from my comrades and I have never stolen from anyone for that matter. I
> > not have a criminal record. Many comrades have hosted me in their homes.
> > have never taken something that does not belong to me.
> > Claudia Martinez Mullen always boasted to us about her 30 years of
> > credentials. Claudia Martinez Mullen perceived her role in UPM to be an
> > intellectual with struggle credentials who was going to dictate terms to
> > When her views were not accepted she would always get angry. After a long
> > experience of this we realised that we were not being offered
> solidarity. We
> > were being told to accept the total domination of a middle class white
> > person over our movement in the name of Marxist-Leninism.
> > On Democracy in UPM
> > UPM was only formed in August 2009 in Grahamstown. An interim structure
> > elected. In June 2010 a formal structure was elected with 2 years term of
> > office. I am still leading the structure that was elected in 2010. Our
> > of office has not expired. The next election is scheduled for March this
> > year. It is just no true to say that the leadership is unelected.
> > But for Claudia Martinez Mullen to say she raised the issue of leadership
> > with me is true. She volunteered to fill one the portfolios that she said
> > was dormant. She insisted that her 30 years of struggle credentials and
> > knowledge of Marxism-Leninism would help in building the movement. She
> > not suggest that there should be an election to replace the person in the
> > portfolio that she thought was dormant.
> > On Misappropriation of Funds
> > The UPM was formed only in August 2009. We did not have funding. We
> > full-time without pay. We took money from our families when we first
> > UPM. UPM was built through personal and emotional sacrifices. In the
> > beginning we were completely on our own. It’s only late in 2010 when we
> > progressive lecturers at Rhodes University supporting, us like Fred
> > Hendricks, Richard Pithouse, Pedro Tabensky, Jane Duncan and Kirk
> > They gave us access to the internet and made inputs on issues when we
> > requested them to do so. None of these lecturers ever tried to control
> > movement. This is solidarity and not domination. We had AIDC coming on
> > with much help as well including some financial support for specific
> > actions. We never had huge sums of money at the bank. In fact after
> > our bank account became inactive. We only received funding from the Rosa
> > Luxenburg Foundation in August last year. This money is held by an NGO
> > called Masifunde. We have to apply for funds from them and every cent
> has to
> > be accounted for with receipts. This is all audited. There have never
> > any complaints about how this money has been handled from Masifunde, the
> > Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the auditors or our members. We all remain
> > What misappropriation of funds is Claudia Mullen Martinez talking about?
> > Claudia Martinez Mullen to say she raised the matter with me is not
> true. I
> > don’t know why she would lie. I don’t know why she would distract the
> > of “theft” and the police assault and attack to a debate about my
> > integrity. She is not doing this for the first time. Late last year she
> > me in the office of the head of Sociology department. She yelled at me,
> > sweared at me, calling me names like “criminal”, “thief”, “lumpen”, and
> > “idiot”. I never responded. I just kept quiet. The Head of Sociology
> > Department, Dr. Kirk Helliker, intervened and ask her to stop. I am not
> > only person to have been treated like this by Claudia on the Rhodes
> > Other lecturers, students and workers have all been treated in exactly
> > same way. This is well known in Grahamstown.
> > On the Allegation that UPM Intimidated Members of the Women’s Social
> > to Force them to Stop Working with Claudia
> > This claim is a complete fabrication. The Women’s Social Forum came to
> > support me in court because they chose to. They made their own decision,
> > based on their own experiences, to stop working with Claudia. We do not
> > speak for the Women’s Social Forum though and anyone who wants to follow
> > Claudia’s claim should speak directly to the Women’s Social Forum.
> However I
> > do note that just as there is a long history of white people showing
> > people who have disobeyed them as thieves and as authoritarians there is
> > also a long history of white people claiming that black people that don’t
> > obey them have been intimidated into disobedience. These claims were
> > frequently made against the movements of the people under apartheid.
> > Conclusion
> > I have been through this thorny road and I continue to survive. I have
> > called many names by the ANC and the ANC Youth League. I have been
> called an
> > ultra-leftist and an AWB –DA sponsored member. I have been called a pawn
> > white capital. I have been accused of getting close to R14 million from
> > Pedro Tabensky by the ANC Youth League. I have been arrested only for the
> > charges to be dropped later. I have received death threats through
> > calls, police refusing to take my case and just dismissing the public
> > threats made against me by the ANC Youth League. When the ANC Youth
> > disrupted our meetings, the police were there. They did nothing.
> Compared to
> > all this Claudia Martinez Mullen is not doing any harm. I will surely
> > continue to weather the storm.
> > I hold no grudges against Claudia Martinez Mullen. Of course no
> > movement can work with someone like her. And of course she is not the
> > academic or NGO person that has tried to slander movements of the poor
> > the crime of not accepting their authority. We are not the first
> movement to
> > suffer this kind of sectarian attack and we won’t be the last. But we are
> > clear that she is not the real enemy. She is just distraction from the
> > struggles for a just and equal society in which the dignity of all
> people is
> > respected.
> > I will never stop reading Steve Biko and Frantz Fanon. I cut my political
> > teeth in the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM). I Write What I Like was
> > the first political book I possessed. I am a proponent of Black
> > Consciousness Philosophy.
> > Ayanda Kota
> > Friday, 20 January 2012
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