Protest for electricity to be switched on after death of activist
The body of Ayanda Denge – a trans woman and an advocate for the rights of sex workers and trans people in the city – was found in her room on Sunday with stab wounds. Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said a case of murder was under investigation.
“The discovery of a body of a man in his thirties in a flat in Helen Bowden Building, Granger Bay, at about 7.52pm is under investigation with no arrests so far. Police detectives are following on leads.”
Denge was recently elected as a house leader at the building and was among hundreds of people who have occupied the building since 2017.
Mona Asher, another house leader, said: “We still do not know the events that led to this senseless killing. The police were called immediately. We can only hope that the police will be thorough in their investigations.
“Ayanda was happy the last time I saw her. She believed in the cause for affordable and social housing for poor and working-class people and had moved from Khayelitsha to stay here because she needed to be close to her workplace. We discovered her body after 6pm. We’re not sure how long the body was there.
“Ayanda will be remembered for her resilience, commitment to women’s empowerment and lending her voice to the most vulnerable.”
Protesters inside the Public Works building demanded the electricity be switched on.
“We cannot separate the safety of women, LGBTQI people and children living in the occupation from the refusal by the Western Cape provincial government to turn the electricity and water back on at Ahmed Kathrada House.
"Whether you agree with our reasons for occupying or not, for two years the province has put politics before the safety of women and children. Now women are here to blockade Public Works,” protesters said.
Last year, a security guard, believed to be employed by a company contracted by the provincial government to watch over the occupied building, was arrested for allegedly killing a popular activist, Zamuxolo Dolophini, known as Rasta.
Reclaim the City said Rasta was killed outside Helen Bowden Nurses Home building.
“That case has been postponed countless times and there is still no justice,” the organisation said.
Anyone with information about the latest incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line on 32211.