High Court bail plea for detained #FeesMustFall leader

2016-12-20 17:15
DUT protest (Picture: Supplied)

DUT protest (Picture: Supplied)

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Durban - Bonginkosi Khanyile, a student leader held in custody for 67 days following his arrest during the height of #FeesMustFall protests, will finally know on Thursday whether or not his bid for bail has been successful.

Attorneys acting for Khanyile on Tuesday made an application in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg asking that Judge Nkosinathi Chili overturn an earlier magistrate's court ruling that has kept the student leader behind bars.

Khanyile faces a raft of charges including public violence, assault, creating a nuisance and possession of explosives.

Police arrested him during a skirmish with striking Durban University of Technology students on September 27.

Video footage captured by police, which had been entered into the record during his earlier application for bail, showed Khanyile using a slingshot to fire "objects" in the direction of riot police.  

Arguing for Khanyile, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi sought to punch holes in the State's case.

He argued that the investigation against Khanyile had been completed, and with the witness list showing that 14 of the 17 witnesses were police officers it was improbable that Khanyile would interfere with those set to testify against him.

Khanyile no 'callow youth'

Ngcukaitobi said Khanyile would not evade trial and that the "very strong" case presented by the State was in fact a fragile house of cards.

He asserted that the charges against his client were ambitiously lofty and that many were duplicates of one another; an attempt to pad the charge sheet.

In response, senior State Advocate Calvin Singh argued that the previous ruling be upheld and that it was in the interest of justice that Khanyile remain in custody.

He argued that the 26-year-old public management student had many a brush with the law for similar offences and had breached a court order imposed in February which prevented him from taking part in unlawful gatherings or protest action.

Singh rejected the picture of a harmless student painted by Ngcukaitobi, saying that Khanyile was no "callow youth" and was in fact someone with a violent disposition.

Judgment in the matter is expected on Thursday.

Read more on:    eff  |  bonginkosi khanyile  |  pietermaritzburg  |  feesmustfall

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