Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile earns judge’s wrath over ongoing delays

17 July 2018 - 15:58 By Lwandile Bhengu
Student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile in court in Durban on Tuesday.
Student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile in court in Durban on Tuesday.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

Yet another lawyer has fallen out of favour with Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile.

The three-day trial of the Durban University of Technology (DUT) graduate was scheduled to start in the Durban Regional Court on Tuesday. The matter had to be temporarily adjourned‚ however‚ after Khanyile's lawyer withdrew his services.

Khanyile was arrested in September 2016 following Fees Must Fall protests at the DUT campus. He was charged with incitement to commit public violence‚ illegal gathering‚ possession of explosives and dangerous weapons‚ obstructing traffic and causing a nuisance on public roads.

He was granted bail in March 2017‚ only after he took the matter to the Constitutional Court.

His lawyer cited miscommunication between him and his client. He added that Khanyile had failed to appear for a consultation with him in May‚ before leaving the court.

Addressing Magistrate Siphiwe Hlophe‚ Khanyile said it was not his intention to delay the matter any further. "I don't have any intention to delay. This isn't a nice place to come to. Maybe if I was coming here as a police officer or a judge‚ it would be different - but this isn't a nice place."

Hlophe was not impressed‚ asking Khanyile: "Are you serious? How many times has this matter been postponed? Do you think the court is going to let you postpone again?"

The magistrate adjourned the matter for a few hours to give Khanyile an opportunity to obtain a legal representative.

State prosecutor Roshiela Benimadho said since his arrest‚ Khanyile's case has been postponed a total of 18 times due to issues regarding his legal representation‚ adding that Khanyile has had three different attorneys.

This is a developing story.