Bonginkosi Khanyile determined to carry on with struggle for free education

Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile. (Facebook)

Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile. (Facebook)

After spending five months in jail, Bonginkosi Khanyile (26) returned to the Durban University of Technology (DUT) to tell students that he is still determined to fight on with them.

Khanyile, who was granted R250 bail on Wednesday after the state and his attorneys made an agreement before the Constitutional Court, appeared relaxed and energetic.

He started his address by chanting “Izwe Lethu!” and the crowd of students in front of him diligently responded “iAfrika!”.

There were loud cheers when Khanyile made his appearance and members of the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command danced and sang. Khanyile, who is a student leader in the KwaZulu-Natal Fees Must Fall movement, is also an EFF member.
The party hired attorneys to represent him and rallied for his release. 

Despite his time in Durban’s Westville Prison, Khanyile has shown no sign of reluctance to continue with protest action. He was released from jail on Thursday morning and told students that if they wanted to continue with the Fees Must Fall protests, he would follow.

“I’m saying on record that if you give us a mandate to say we must fight, [then] we must fight,” Khanyile.

He was arrested on September 27 2016 on eight charges including inciting violence, participating in an illegal gathering and public violence.

Since then, he has filed bail applications at the Durban Magistrate’s Court and the High Court. When those failed, he approached the Supreme Court of Appeal, which refused to hear his case. This prompted his legal team to approach the Constitutional Court

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng seemed concerned that Khanyile had been imprisoned for so long. 

“People who are accused of rape get bail. People who are accused of murder get bail. What is it about this one?” asked Mogoeng.

“We are dealing with someone’s future that should be secured, not someone who should be languishing in jail.”

Khanyile told students at DUT that he still holds hope for a better future.

“I was wearing sunglasses in jail, I never only slept with pajamas. I slept with my sunglasses on, because I know that the future is too bright,” he said.  

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