Activist advocate Ayanda Gladile ‘killed by the township he sought to better’

A memorial service for advocate Ayanda Gladile was held at Thusong centre in Khayelitsha on Friday. Photo by Mzi Velapi

Advocate Ayanda Gladile was described as someone who had dedicated his life to the struggle. A R100,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest of his killer/s.

A R100,000 reward has been offered for information that leads to an arrest of those responsible for the murder of Khayelitsha activist lawyer, Ayanda Gladile. Gladile was shot multiple times while reportedly intervening in a robbery close to his home. He succumbed to his wounds on 13 August in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.

The 34-year-old advocate will be remembered for being involved in the establishment of the EFF in the Western Cape and representing students during #FeesMustFall pro-bono. A memorial service for advocate Gladile was held at Thusong Centre in Khayelitsha last Friday, attended by his family, friends, colleagues, and fellow supporters of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF). Speaking at the memorial, advocate Thulasive Twalo promised the family that they will do anything to find the killers. “We are going to find Ayanda’s killers. This is not a threat, it is a promise. He was a gift to us from God and now we must tip-toe around his killers like Ayanda didn’t dedicate his life to defending and fighting for your children,” said an emotional advocate Twalo.

Twalo has offered a R100,000 reward for anyone with information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.

‘We become victims of the same townships
we seek to better’

The memorial, attended by over 100 people, paid tribute to the activist advocate with many remembering Gladile as “selfless and passionate” about his work. “It is sad how Ayanda died. We are here to rewrite his biography but when we leave here today we will leave with the sad reality that he is no more […] We become victims of the same townships we seek to better,” said Ashley Leeuw a friend and lawyer from the Black Lawyers Association.

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Gladile’s friend of over fifteen years, Lungani Mondleki, said he met Gladile at Harry Gwala Secondary School where they both wanted to be lawyers and later went on to study for an LLB at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). “My friend was so vibrant and passionate about developing students. He was selfless and always wanted to assist academically excluded students even before qualifying as an advocate,” said Mondleki.

‘We need to organise to defend ourselves
against the criminals’

Mzimasi Sibeko, who was mentor to Gladile, described him as a sharp political educator and urged the communities to organise so that they can defend themselves. “This is not the first death like this: Philela and Ras Moziah were killed in this manner and no one was arrested for their deaths. We need to organise so that we can defend ourselves against the criminals,” he said.

In 2019, the Community Safety department in the Western Cape published a report that found that detective services in the province were in a dire state as they are under-resourced, lack training and that their work is not guided by intelligence. A case has been opened, but no arrests have been made. Warrant officer Nosiphiwo Mtengwana, from Harare police station, has urged the public to come forward with any information.

“We are hoping that the police can find the killers, but we don’t trust that they will. We have started to gather our own information outside of the police,” said Mbulelo Dwane, the Black People’s National Crisis Committee spokesperson.

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Gladile will be buried this Saturday in Mthatha. Twalo can be contacted on 072 373 7354.

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