Timeline | Bonginkosi Khanyile: from cum laude graduate to house arrest

30 January 2019 - 06:17
By Odwa Mjo
Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile  has been sentenced to three years under house arrest.
Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile has been sentenced to three years under house arrest.

After years of fighting in courts, #FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile was handed a sentence of three years under house arrest on Monday January 28. 

Khanyile was also ordered to submit himself for rehabilitation programmes and pay R5,000 or serve a three-year prison sentence suspended for five years.

Khanyile faced the law for his involvement in the #FeesMustFall protests in 2016.  Here's how he got to this point.

Arrested on September 2 2016

The Durban University of Technology student was arrested during the #FeesMustFall protests and charged on eight counts including public violence and inciting violence. 

Bail denied 

Khanyile's first application for bail was denied in October 2016, 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".

South Africa
Student in another bail bid
5 years ago

In November, Khanyile was denied bail again as #FeesMustFall activists rallied behind him as he had spent almost two months in prison. 

Khanyile released 

Five months later, in March 2017, Khanyile was granted bail of R250 after winning his case at the Constitutional Court having spent more than 150 days in custody. EFF leader Julius Malema submitted an  affidavit to the court in support of Khanyile.

Graduating cum laude

Despite being incarcerated for almost six months, the #FeesMustFall activist confirmed that he is expected to graduate with a national diploma in public management and economics cum laude. 

Khanyile arrested

In September 2017,  Khanyile was arrested on charges linked to an outstanding warrant for missing a court date 10 days before his arrest.


In May 2018, he graduated a day after being suspended for a month by the university for his involvement in the #FeesMustFall movement. 

Guilty of public violence 

In August 2018,  Khanyile was convicted on charges of public violence, failing to comply with a police instruction and possession of a dangerous weapon. 

Sentenced to house arrest 

In January 2019, Khanyile was sentenced to three years under house arrest and a R5,000 fine. He must also undergo community service every month and refrain from taking intoxicating substances.

The court heard that Khanyile had been accepted to study towards a  master's degree in public management at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.