We will sleep at Union Buildings until we see Ramaphosa face to face‚ says convicted Fees Must Fall activist
Convicted Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile intends to sleep at the Union Buildings until he gets to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
In a statement‚ Khanyile said he wanted to meet with the president to inform him of what had led to the Fees Must Fall movement‚ which resulted in him receiving a criminal record.
The Durban University of Technology student wants Ramaphosa to exercise his prerogative powers and grant amnesty and pardon to all Fees Must Fall activists.
“On Tuesday morning I shall be in Union Buildings to meet the state President to tell him face-to-face our lived experiences as it relates to our plea to pardon all #FeesMustFall activists‚” said Khanyile.
“It must be noted that I do not have an official appointment with him but upon my arrival I shall wait until he arrives. If he is oversees [sic] we shall sleep by Union Buildings‚ wake up by Union Buildings until he comes back.”
Khanyile said the Union Buildings stay would be a peaceful one. He called on other activists to join him.
“We therefore call upon all FeesMustFall activists and persons regardless who have suffered the aftermath to avail themselves as we wait for a President and further engage him on our issues and lived experiences‚” he said.
Khanyile said a petition would be circulated online to collect signatures of those who are in support of their cause but are unable to make it to Pretoria.
“Let’s all be in one voice to say ‘enough is enough’. All fees must fall activists must be set free for if we believe so we can achieve‚” he said.
Khanyile’s mission to the Union Buildings comes just days after former Wits University SRC president Mcebo Dlamini embarked on a 60km solo walk from the university’s Braamfontein campus to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
Dlamini‚ who himself faces charges linked to the 2016 Fees Must Fall movement‚ delivered a letter to Ramaphosa’s office to plead with him to intervene and pardon students who were arrested for the protest action.
Khanyile was last week found guilty of public violence‚ failing to comply with police instructions and possession of a dangerous weapon.
Through his advocate Danie Combrink‚ he had admitted that during the violent protest action he had disturbed public peace‚ used a slingshot to stone police and ignored their pleas to disperse. His sentencing is set to take place in October.
Dlamini has been charged with theft‚ assault‚ public violence and malicious damage to property. He appeared before the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday but his case was postponed to give Ramaphosa time to consider his request for a pardon.
The president is expected to be in Pretoria on Tuesday for a courtesy call with the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Special Envoy.