Release Fees Must Fall leader Bonginkosi Khanyile - EFF

Fighters say student leader was involved in a legitimate protest and is not a criminal, 62 days in prison are enough

EFF calls on the state to release Fees Must Fall leader in UKZN Bonginkosi Khanyile 

30 November, 2016

The EFF calls on the state to release the Fees Must Fall student leader Bonginkosi Khanyile who participated in the University of KwaZulu Natal student protests and who has been detained without trail for 62 days today. The state has opposed all bail applications, regardless of the fact that Bonginkosi was willing to even comply with strict bail conditions. This is a call to release the student leader who was involved in a legitimate and collective student protest against commodified education. Bonginkosi Khanyile is not a criminal and should not have to spent anymore day in prison as 62 days is already punishment enough; facing detainment without trial.

Detainment without trail is a dictatorial, anti-democratic and inhumane way in which autocratic regimes deal with political activists opposing the government of the day. It is the same way apartheid suppressed and violated the rights of struggle stalwarts who fought the injustices of the regime. 

Another bail application case was opposed by the sate yesterday in the Durban Magistrate Court. The EFF will now be approaching the High Court on urgent basis to have the student leader released from the 62 days of imprisonment he has faced to this day. We call on sanity to reign on those who are leading the state's case and not condemn the student to more days of imprisonment as the possibility is eminent that Bonginkosi will spend the festive season behind bars. This form of vilification is not corrective, neither does it yield the required fruits in holding him back from leading more protests as the university will be closed.

The whole FeesMustFall movement has been met with brutal state repression and the detainment of Bongingkosi is evidence to that effect. Violence only leads to more violence and thus no amount of brutality anywhere ever fixed political differences. Society does not benefit from student activists brutalised into imprisonment and detainment without trail. They ought to be released an engaged and listened to by those in power; above all they ought to concede to the superior logic that fees must fall for maximum access to quality higher education. 

Issued by Mbuyiseni Quintin Ndlozi, National Spokesperson, EFF, 30 November 2016