Alleged riots instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile granted R5,000 bail

07 September 2021 - 12:16
By Mluleki Mdletshe
Alleged riots instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile was granted bail by the Durban magistrate's court on Tuesday.
Image: Mluleki Mdletshe Alleged riots instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile was granted bail by the Durban magistrate's court on Tuesday.

Bonginkosi “Education” Khanyile was released on R5,000 bail with strict conditions by the Durban magistrate’s court on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old was arrested by the Hawks on August 20 at his Wits University student residence. He was charged with inciting public violence, holding an illegal gathering and not wearing a face mask in public during unrest and looting in Durban in July.

He has been held at the Durban Central police station while awaiting the outcome of his bail application.

During his second appearance, the state submitted five videos to support its argument against the granting of bail.

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

Magistrate Vincent Hlatshwayo said: “While there can be no doubt who the person in the videos is, it is also one’s right to support any individual or organisation of their choice.”

Hlatshwayo imposed strict conditions attached to Khanyile’s bail, including reporting to the Hillbrow or Durban Central police stations every Monday and Friday between 6am and 6pm.

Khanyile will also have to suspend his Twitter account with more than 21,000 followers for the duration of the case and ensure he is able to attend every court appearance until it is finalised.

The magistrate said if Khanyile breached any of these conditions, he would be taken back into custody until the outcome of the case.

Speaking outside the court, Khanyile’s family spokesperson Philani Nduli told TimesLIVE they are “happy” with the outcome and have always maintained Khanyile is innocent.

“Our brother is a free man. We have said it before: he is innocent and has never done anything wrong. The state has been proved wrong today.

“The state has been exposed today that it is using the organs to prosecute people who disagree with them politically. Our lawyers are on top. We’re dancing naked. We’re mopping the floor with them,” said Nduli.

Bonginkosi Khanyile's mother Phumzile Makhathini said  she is overjoyed her son was granted bail.
Image: Mluleki Mdletshe Bonginkosi Khanyile's mother Phumzile Makhathini said she is overjoyed her son was granted bail.

Khanyile’s mother Phumzile Makhathini said she was looking forward to seeing her son again after being unable to talk to him from prison.

“I am over the moon. I am overjoyed at the decision by the court to release my child. I wish they would show this fairness to others. He was never a criminal or person who does terrible things.

“He was exercising his right to express something he was not happy about. We are happy the court saw that,” she said.

The matter was adjourned to September 23 for a pre-trial hearing. 

TimesLIVE