Sun Dec 04 14:19:57 SAST 2016

‘Authorities using iron fist against students’ - march to protest #FeesMustFall activist’s detention

TMGDigital And Suthentira Govender | 2016-11-30 08:50:10.0
Bonginkosi Khanyile was arrested on September 27 following clashes with police during Fees Must Fall protests.
Image by: Rogan Ward

The will be a march in Johannesburg on Saturday to protest the continued detention of Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile.

The Durban University of Technology activist spent his 64th day in custody after the Durban Magistrate’s Court again denied him bail on Tuesday.

Magistrate Jackie Jonck denied him bail in October after the court heard during the initial application that Khanyile had a strong influence over students and that lecturers would be reluctant to give statements to police because they were fearful. The United Front of Johannesburg said it will be “joining the march… where parents‚ community members‚ trade unions‚ civil society‚ students and outsourced workers will take to the streets of Johannesburg to show their support for the struggle for free decolonised education for all and the end of outsourcing”.

The marches‚ the party said‚ will start at the University of Johannesburg and Wits‚ and head to Constitutional Hill.

“This march has been called particularly to express our condemnation of state repression of the student movement by the state and university managements‚” the United Front’s Trevor Ngwane said.

“Instead of addressing the student demands the authorities are using the iron fist against students.”

Ngwane noted that “Khanyile has been behind bars since September 27”‚ which he said was evidence that “the right of protest is under attack”.

“Students… are now facing arrests‚ denial of bail‚ suspensions‚ expulsions and court interdicts. The intimidation and violence from private security and state police is increasing.”

Khanyile is facing eight charges that include public violence‚ illegal gathering and inciting violence.

Chanting “one settler‚ one bullet"‚ Khanyile’s supporters were furious when he was denied bail for the second time in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Jonck delivered her ruling under a heavy police presence. Supporters‚ most of whom were EFF members‚ heckled and shouted when Jonck sent Khanyile back to jail.

They broke out into struggle songs in the corridors. Supporters said they were furious but would not give up their efforts to ensure that Khanyile is released from custody.

During his first court appearance‚ prosecutor Roshiela Benimadho opposed bail for the 26-year old.

She argued that he is facing serious charges and was linked to pending similar matters committed at DUT previously and in Umlazi.

- TMG Digital/Durban Newsroom


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