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Monday, November 29, 2021

Fees Must Fall Activist, Bonginkosi Khanyile, To Remain Behind Bars Until Friday

FORMER Fees Must Fall activist, Bonginkosi Khanyile, who was arrested in Johannesburg on Friday for allegedly instigating the recent unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal, on Monday morning appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court where the matter was postponed to Thursday.

He allegedly incited public violence during the recent unrest in Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Khanyile, 31, was arrested by police on Friday.

According to police, Khanyile is suspected of instigating last month’s unrest which resulted in the destruction of property worth more than R50 billion and the loss of more than 300 lives in KZN and Gauteng.

The National Prosecuting Authority said Khanyile incited the public to commit acts of public violence during his engagement with certain individuals at Durban’s Warwick Avenue around July 10.

In addition, it is also alleged that Khanyile convened a gathering in the Durban CBD in contravention of disaster management regulations.

“The matter was postponed to August 26 for a formal bail application,” NPA provincial spokesperson, Natasha Kara, said.

Khanyile is accused of convening a gathering, contravening a prohibition by holding a rally and/or address under Disaster Management Regulations, contravening regulation 31(2) regarding regulations 1, 3, 4 and 5 of Disaster Management Regulations, and incitement to commit public violence. 

Khanyile, a staunch supporter of former president Jacob Zuma, had called for Zuma’s release after his imprisonment last month for contempt of court.

He also spoke on behalf of former Ukhozi FM radio DJ, Ngizwe Mchunu, who was charged with incitement to commit public violence linked to the riots.

Mchunu was released on R2,000 bail by the Randburg Magistrates Court in late July.

The first, second and third charges go against adjusted level 4 lockdown, which was in place when the unrest was taking place.

Family spokesperson Philani Nduli said his family was baffled by the arrest. 

They believed Khanyile’s been targeted for speaking out against the arrest of the former president. 

“We are very dumbfounded by this arrest. We are deeply concerned as a family about how the State is victimising Bonginkosi Khanyile because it’s not the first time he is being arrested for believing in a particular idea. Bonginkosi Khanyile is known for his strong character. He is not a person who cries, he understands that what is happening to him must happen for the greater cause,” said Nduli. 

“He must be scarified for the greater cause of humanity. So we spoke with him, he is doing very feel he is fine, he was even smiling and sharing jokes. He is that kind of a person.”

In 2019, Khanyile received a three-year prison sentence, suspended for five years, and a fine of R5,000, also suspended.

He was ordered, however, to serve three years under house arrest by the Durban Regional Court.

He was arrested in September 2016 during running battles between police and Durban University of Technology students, which took place during the height of the Fees Must Fall protests.

Khanyile was charged with incitement to commit public violence, illegal gathering, possession of dangerous weapons (a slingshot), obstructing traffic, causing a nuisance on public roads and possession of explosives.

The student activist had earlier made headlines when his bail application made it all the way to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) after being denied at the lower courts.

After close to six months in prison, the ConCourt granted him bail of only R250.

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