A student arrested for using a slingshot at a recent #FeesMustFall protest was only carrying the slingshot, a student leader said on Friday.
Student leader Gazuzu Nduli, addressing a press conference at the Durban University of Technology, said students were being urged to protest outside the Durban Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday to demand that Bonginkosi Khanyile be set free.
Khanyile, who was arrested during running battles with police on September 27, has been charged with incitement to commit public violence, illegal gathering, possession of explosives and dangerous weapons, obstructing traffic and causing a nuisance on public roads.
Khanyile is the only one of scores of students arrested during the protests who is still behind bars after Magistrate Jackie Jonck denied him bail on October 17.
In handing down her decision to deny Khanyile bail, Jonck cited video evidence that showed Khanyile assaulting police and encouraging students to “moer the police”.
However, Nduli was adamant that Khanyile, who is a member of the Economic Freedom Fighters, had done nothing wrong.
“You can’t charge a student for carrying a slingshot. This case is a political case. He is a political prisoner,” he said.
He urged students to join the protests to demand Khanyile’s release from custody.
He said the state’s approach to the student protests was similar to that of the former apartheid regime and that, if unchecked, the country would return to a state of emergency.
– African News Agency (ANA)