Tuesday, 26 April 2016


Statement from the Johannesburg People’s Pride movement working group in solidarity with the #‎RUReferenceList protest.

The Johannesburg People’s Pride movement was founded on the principle of disobedience towards the status quo of privileged myopia within the pride movement around issues of violence against the Black body across the full spectrum and scope of our South African society. We move from the premise that unless our bodies are liberated from the social, economic and political conditions engineered by the confluence of white-supremacy, capitalism, heteropatriarchy and ableism, not one of us can claim to be free.

In this regard we stand in solidarity with the #RUReferenceList protest that is unfolding on campus at the university currently known as Rhodes in Grahamstown, South Africa, a movement that exposes the lack of due representation, process, and protection of rape victims and survivors in our higher education institutions and legal system, particularly as it pertains to the Black body.

As we see it, the #RUReferenceList protest openly and publicly challenges the status quo of complicity in the face of endemic rape culture on campus. It also challenges the hostility of the institutional response against victims and survivors who attempt to seek justice and protection against the crimes of rape, sexual harassment, and abuse.

Indeed, the overwhelming majority of victims and survivors will not even attempt to seek justice because the criminal justice system at a societal level, in general, and in our higher education institutions, in particular, do not exist to believe, centre and support them. Instead, at the very most, they exist to protect the reputational interests of the state, the institution and the perpetrators of violence against our bodies.

The aftermath of the release of the #RUReferenceList exposed for all to see this institution and our society’s patriarchal commitment to perpetrators of violence over those of us, their victims. It exposed, for all to see, the duplicity of this Home for All which punishes those of us who stand up against sexual violence on our campuses, on our streets and in our communities.

This is not the first time the demands for a robust and zero-tolerance institutional response to handling sexual harassment and rape that centres victims and survivors have been put before university administrators, nor will it be the last. 

If our institutional systems fail to protect rape victims from repeated acts of violence through dissuasion, negligence, indifference, ignorance and re-victimisation, then those systems are to be disobeyed and challenged in a manner that calls attention to their failure. As long as rape victims are being asked to be patient with, and obedient to an institution and process that recreates their experience of violence and abuse, they have a right and are duty-bound to stand up and say NO MORE!

We stand with the community of activists, students and staff, in their demands for the university’s administration team to stand down on its criminalisation of student activists through the invocation of disciplinary proceedings against them, the invitation of police presence on campus and through court interdicts.

We stand with the community of activists in their demands for investigation into those named in the #RUReferenceList, and all further reports of rape and sexual harassment.

We call on the Minister of Education, Council of Higher Education (CHE) and Higher Education South Africa (HESA) to engage Institutions of Higher Learning across the country on the implementation of sexual harassment policy.

In particular, we demand an independent inquiry to review the scope and magnitude of sexual violence and harrassment on campuses across South Africa. We demand that this inquiry investigate the incidence of sexual harrassment, assault and rape on campuses, the frequency with which these are reported, and whether investigations are fair, effective and are sensitive to the needs of complainants and survivors. We demand that this begin with the university currently known as Rhodes.

The Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement recognises the #RUReferenceList project as a central thread in the movement towards the decolonisation of our institutions of higher learning and society as a whole.

We are ever-mindful of the fact that white-supremacy, capitalism, heteropatriarchy and ableism are all mutually reinforcing systems of power, and that their collective demise, is the sole condition for our collective liberation from struggle and oppression. Their collective and total demise is, and must continue to be the singular project of this generation and those still to come.

We strive for the freedom to be, and the freedom to be free from harm. We strive for all freedoms for all people now!

Aluta Must End!
The JHB Peoples Pride organising committee
Tuesday 26 April 2016,
Johannesburg, South Africa


Sekoetlane Phamodi

Monday, 7 December 2015

Night Revolution Concert

We promised you all a #NightRevolution like you've never seen before. Now here it is!


Friday, 20 November 2015

Adjustments to JPP Protest Celebration Programme 21 November 2015

The Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement is excited and proud to announce its third annual progressive protest-celebration for justice. We have come far since that seminal moment in September 2012, when our Black sisters and leaders in this queer revolution for justice interrupted the white Johannesburg Pride Parade in the leafy suburbs of Rosebank to demand the observation of a moment of silence to contemplate the state and scope of injustice that especially operates on those of us whose bodies are Black, woman, disabled, migrant and poor, and were beaten, driven over and expressly told to “go back to [our] lokshins.
It was in that moment that we named white-supremacist, capitalist and patriarchal exclusiveness in queer organising spaces as an aberration in our struggle for justice. We were categorical then, as we still are now, that in all our work, we would be led by feminist, anti-racist, anti-ableist and anti-capitalist politics. At our inaugural protest celebration in 2013, as well as our second in 2014, we asserted and proved that our politics must and can be infused with enjoyment, and our enjoyment suffused by our politics, because the personal is political.
Regrettably, we have to announce that owing to unforeseen technical difficulties, our post-march Queer Celebration Concert, at which celebrated queer and allied artists and performers including Nothende, Moshe Ndiki, and Nakhane Toure were confirmed, must be postponed to mid-December.
We will, however, be proceeding with all planned activities leading up to and including the GLOW in the dark march.

Activity 1: Picnic and Edutainment at Constitution Hill (14:00 – 16:00)
There will be a picnic and edutainment programme beginning in the late afternoon. The edutainment programme will consist of Writing/Poetry, Photography/Video Making, Banner/Placard Making, T-shirt Printing, Drawing/Painting, and the pre-march rally call with readings of messages of support.

There will be no braai, sale of food or drinks. Alcoholic beverages of any kind are strongly discouraged and neither JPP nor the management of Constitution Hill will be held responsible for any arrest, injury or any criminal or civil liability for unauthorised consumption on site. Please do not bring any alcohol into the march and preceding activities.
Activity 2: Queer Tour Queer History Tour of Braamfontein and Hillbrow (14:30 - 16:00)
Activists familiar with the queer history of Braamfontein and Hillbrow will congregate 2 groups of 20 people each at Constitution Hill. These two groups will be led on a one-hour walking tour of Braamfontein and Hillbrow. To manage the size of the groups, the tour will be pre-booked.

Activity 3: March (16:00 – 17:30)
The march will leave from and return to Constitution Hill with a route through Hillbrow and Joubert Park and will include guerrilla theatre as a key feature.

Tomorrow, we will be proceeding with our third protest-celebration. We will be reclaiming the streets of Hillbrow and the night. We will be marching to demand justice for all bodies that occupy this unjust society. We will be drawing particular emphasis to the struggles and resilience of trans-bodies in South Africa and the continent. We will be stomping our feet in celebration of queer anti-apartheid activist, Simon Nkoli, and those Black progressive leaders of the Gays and Lesbians of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) who, in organising that first ever Queer Pride march in Africa in 1992, on the route we will be marching on, knew then what we know now: that none of us can be free unless all of us are free.

Issued by the Working Group of the Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement

For more information contact:

Kwezilomso Mbandazayo

Sekoetlane Phamodi

Facebook: /JHBPeoplesPride
Twitter: @jhbpeoplespride

Monday, 16 November 2015

CALL TO ACTION: Glow in the Dark Night Revolution

The time has come again for all progressive bodies in Johannesburg to reclaim Pride and their streets. We call on all of you who are queer, and all of you who are Black, and women, and landless, and economically marginalised, and every single one of you who demand justice for all bodies now to join us in the third annual Johannesburg People’s Pride protest celebration on 21 November 2015.

The theme of this year’s protest celebration is a Call to Action under the theme of ‘GLOW in the Dark: Night Revolution’. In the context of sustained violence perpetrated against us, we who are queer and Black, women, migrants, landless and dispossessed suffer a constant and fear to inhabit our streets freely after dark, the theme expreses a desire to reclaim the night and assert our right to celebrate and be free from violence while doing so.

This year’s theme is also an homage to Simon Nkoli and the Gays and Lesbians of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) organizations, which made large contributions to the struggle for freedom for LGBTIAQ people in South Africa. We commemorate GLOW for it was they who, more than twenty years ago, formed the foundation for a united struggle against all injustice led by queers, as we do today.

This year, we also highlight our solidarity with and support for trans bodies in South Africa, the continent and the world over who continue to suffer stigmatisation, marginalisation and erasure from society - even within gay and lesbian communities. We recognise that all of our respective freedoms are intimately bound up in each other's, and that it is crucial to the strengthening of our movement and the realisation of our vision for a just and free society that we unite against the multiple oppressions that operate on every single one of our bodies.

This year we will assert once again our rights to gather freely, we will join the ongoing call for the decolonisation of institutions of higher learning. We assert our rights to free education and an end to the exploitation of workers. Again we exclaim:


The GLOW in the Dark protest celebration will have of three main activities around Constitution Hill:

Activity 1: Queer History Tour of Braamfontein and Hillbrow (15:00 – 17:00)
Activists familiar with the queer history of Braamfontein and Hillbrow will congregate 2 groups of 20 people each at constitution hill. These two groups will be led on a two-hour walking tour of Braamfontein and Hillbrow. To manage the size of the groups, the tour will be pre-booked. 

Activity 2: Picnic and Edutainment at Constitution Hill (15:00 – 17:00)
There will be a picnic and edutainment programme beginning in the late afternoon. The edutainment programme will consist of Writing/Poetry, Photography/Video Making, Banner/Placard Making, T-shirt Printing, Drawing/Painting, Performance Art, Music/DJs and Activist Speakers and a braai and party. There will be food and drinks vendors, and participants will be allowed to bring their own food and refreshments.

Activity 3: March (17:30 – 19:00)
The march will leave from and return to Constitution Hill with a route through Hillbrow and Jobber Park and will include guerrilla theatre as a key feature. 

Activity 4: Queer Celebration Concert (19:00 – 00:00)
A live music concert will be held at Constitution Hill. Queer singers, performance artists, and DJs will be invited to share the stage throughout the evening

Issued by: JPP Working Group

For further information, contact:

Kwezilomso Mbandazayo

Sekoetlane Phamodi

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Queer People Cannot Be Free Unless Education is Free #FeesMustFall

The Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement stands in solidarity with students across the nation demanding the transformation of universities and removing the principal barrier to accessing higher education: the exorbitant cost.

Thousands of young people across all of South Africa are being denied the right and opportunity to education in order to be able to have full citizenship in the global knowledge society. In the same ways that queer people are deliberately pushed to and kept in the margins, poor people (who are overwhelmingly mostly Black as a direct result of our colonial-apartheid past and present) are also being kept in the margins to maintain the pervasive structural and material inequalities that characterise our society today. 

We applaud the courage, discipline and singularity of purpose with which students have been engaged in our collective struggle for the fundamental transformation of our universities and society. Failed by the State and universities, students have shown great leadership in demonstrating that people’s power can effect the change we deserve to see in our society.

We condemn the contempt with which students making legitimate demands for long-overdue solutions are being treated by the State and universities alike. We condemn the use of State force and violence to prevent our right to assemble and protest and disrupt oppressive systems of power. So soon after the Marikana Massacre, and with the enduring memory of the Sharpeville Massacre, it was simply chilling to watch the South African Police Force shoot at students engaged in peaceful protest in Port Elizabeth. We, further, specifically condemn UCT’s fascist resort to interdicting students and staff from organising, assembling and protesting, and encourage all students to make a mockery of this outlandish and unconstitutional court order by continuing to organise peaceful protest actions under the #FeesMustFall banner.

They cannot detain all of us under this unjust and unconstitutional manipulation of the law.

We celebrate the citizen journalists everywhere, especially The Daily Vox, for providing nuanced and critical coverage of this momentous uprising for justice, filling the vacuum left by the mainstream media’s generally disdainful and ambivalent attitude towards this important struggle and the young people leading it.

We call on all our partners, supporters and all of us in the margins who have a stake in the transformation of our universities to show their support for our progressive student movements.

  • We call on you to participate in student political actions happening near you, because their struggle is our struggle and our struggle is theirs.
  • We call on you to send messages of solidarity and support.
  • We call on you to provide support to the various student movements leading this necessary work, in money and in kind, to continue this revolution, for theirs is the long-overdue work of decolonisation in action.
  • We call on you to provide financial support to The Daily Vox to enable its citizen journalists to continue their excellent coverage of this important work being driven by students.

Queer people cannot be free unless higher education is free for all who want it. None of us can be free, unless all of us are free.

Sithi phambili, ngabafundi, phambili!

Issued By:

For further information, contact:

Kwezilomso Mbandazayo

Sekoetlane Phamodi

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

“Stabane,” “Kwerekwere” BUT STILL ENTITLED TO life, dignity & freedom from violence

The Johannesburg People’s Pride movement notes with concern the conspicuous wave of violence that has crashed over particularly poor and Black foreign nationals in South Africa, in recent weeks. As we rise together to condemn this egregious violence, and show solidarity with and support for our foreign-born guests, parents, lovers and friends, we would also put it on record that these acts of violence come as no surprise to us but, in fact, index a deeper and more systemic problem of structural, material, psychological and physical violence that we as South Africans have failed to face and address head-on over the last 21 years.
South Africa is routinely celebrated as the land of milk and honey where the rights of all within its artificial borders are protected and promoted. We, South Africans, routinely and arrogantly portray ourselves as exceptional to the continent because our democratic dispensation was not borne of any foundational violence. We reject these claims and characterisations for the brazen brand-building lies that they are. The only things that make South Africa exceptional are that:
  1. the democratic society we seek to build is borne out of and shared by ongoing and unmitigated foundational violence against queers, against womyn, against foreign nationals, the poor and the landless;
  2. the State machinery’s natural and routine response to civic unrest for its failure to bring us out of racial, economic, and political oppression is violence and murder instead of listening and delivering;
  3. we are able to write world-class progressive Constitutions and laws, but fail to live them as a people.
Being so readily available to violence as queer bodies in South Africa, we understand all too well how and why foreign nationals in our borders are victimised such as they are. In our broken heterosexist society, queer bodies are deemed unworthy of dignity, protection and life because of how they transgress sexist rules about how we must present ourselves and who we can fuck. Similarly, the bodies and livelihoods of foreign nationals are the ready targets of violent scapegoating by nationalists, cultural chauvinists and criminal opportunists who are made by an unequal and inequitable society that has its foundations in over three centuries of white supremacist and capitalist violence.
Last year, we marched to demand more than a paltry 16 days of activism against violence against womyn and children but a proactive and year-long systematic programme of action that addressed structural violence in our homes, our communities and the state institutions that we depend on. We did this with a firm understanding and a clarity of purpose that unless all bodies - queer, poor, landless, Black, disabled and foreign-born - are free from all violence, then none of us can ever claim to be free. In a broken society such as ours, we recognise that “stabane" and “kwerekwere” are but synonymous slurs used to establish and maintain the systems of violence and oppression used to sustain our common enemy which is white supremacist capitalist heteropatriarchy.
Today, we repeat this message again when we say thina izitabane, we the disabled, thina omagosha, we the landless, thina abafazi, we Blacks, thina amakwerekwere are all deserving of life, of dignity, of land and of lives free from violence.
To those who have fallen, we say rest in power!
To those still standing, aluta continua for it is not yet Uhuru!

Black lives matter, queer lives matter
Johannesburg Peoples Pride March 2015 (video frame, katty vandenberghe)

Issued By:

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