Alleged instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile 'strong and ready to die for Zuma'

26 August 2021 - 17:07
By TimesLIVE
#FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile with former president Jacob Zuma. Khanyile says Zuma was arrested in a 'undemocratic manner'. File photo.
Image: Twitter/Bonginkosi Khanyile #FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile with former president Jacob Zuma. Khanyile says Zuma was arrested in a 'undemocratic manner'. File photo.

Fees Must Fall (FMF) activist and now alleged riots instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile spoke passionately in the Durban magistrate’s court on Thursday about how he was prepared to die for former president Jacob Zuma.

He was in court accused of being one of those behind last month’s civil unrest.

Khanyile, 31, was arrested in Gauteng on Friday.

The EFF member, who is known as the face of the FMF student-led protests that began in October 2015, faces charges of incitement to commit public violence and two counts of convening a gathering in contravention of the Disaster Management Act. 

Khanyile, who is no stranger to the law, has been vocal on social media both before and after unrest gripped parts of Johannesburg and ravaged KZN last month. More than 300 people died in the unrest.

On July 13 he even went as far as to warn President Cyril Ramaphosa about deploying the army. 

During a break in court proceedings, Khanyile told journalists on Thursday that the former president should be released.

“We will say that even if we are facing a death sentence, even if we are about to be hanged, even in the gallows we will say that on any platform because he was arrested in a thuggery manner [sic]. He was arrested in an undemocratic manner. That’s how he was arrested.

“So there's no intimidation. Even if we are facing the gallows and sentenced to death, we will sustain it and say that he must be free. So how we are approaching this matter, we are a like a lion in a jungle ... We are very strong. We are not moved by anything because we are innocent.”

On Thursday during the bail application, the state introduced several videos to support their argument to deny Khanyile bail.

KZN acting provincial command for the Hawks submitted an affidavit outlining the evidence against Khanyile and testified about the video evidence.

In one of the videos played in court, Khanyile is allegedly seen addressing a group of people at the Warwick Avenue taxi rank. He is heard encouraging the group that “those who are burning tyres and blocking the roads must continue to do so until Zuma is released”.

The bail application continues.