Bonginkosi Khanyile and his lawyer part ways

2018-07-18 16:53
Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile. (File, Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile. (File, Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

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The Legal Aid attorney representing Bonginkosi Khanyile has withdrawn from the criminal case against the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) student activist.

In a dramatic turn of events on Wednesday, the Durban Regional Court heard how Avinash Bissesur and Khanyile could not see eye to eye on a number of issues relating to his trial.

It was only the second day of Khanyile's trial, which took two years to begin after several postponements.

He faces a string of charges, including inciting public violence, possession of explosives, contravention of the Gatherings Act, possession of a dangerous weapon, failure to comply with police orders, common assault and hindering traffic.

"There are many problems between the client and I. I tried to be of assistance yesterday, but I have to ask to withdraw as his attorney," Bissesur said.

READ: 40-minute video to be used as evidence in EFF student activist's trial

Responding, Khanyile said he believed his attorney's withdrawal was the correct decision.

"We cannot work together. There is indeed conflict."

Khanyile has gone through several lawyers since his arrest, a fact which drew the ire of Magistrate Siphiwe Hlophe.

"We cannot keep postponing. [A] number of attorneys [have] withdrawn representing you. It has an impact in finalising this matter. What assurance do you have that the people you will approach will assist you?"

Hlophe gave Khanyile until the end of lunch to find a lawyer, which he managed to do.

After the adjournment was over, Khanyile handed an email communication, purportedly from a law firm to the court.

"This email does not say if they will continue with the case tomorrow. It is your job to tell them that the case will proceed tomorrow. We will not postpone again. They must be prepared when they come here," Hlophe said before postponing the case to Thursday.

Damning video evidence

Earlier, a damning 40-minute police video was screened, which allegedly implicated Khanyile in acts of violence against police on the day of his arrest on September 27, 2016.

Warrant Officer Shaun Robins, a videographer for police who works out of the Public Order Policing division in Marianhill, allegedly recorded Khanyile and his cohorts hurling stones and bricks at police.

In the video, a man purported to be Khanyile can be seen using a slingshot to hurl stones at police outside the Durban University of Technology's ML Sultan Campus.

Robins testified that a maximum of 20 police officers were at the scene on the day.

"We would normally use a lot more members to police a crowd that large. Some students were angry and wanted to proceed with their march. They became visibly angry [and] stones were thrown at us."

Read more on:    bonginkosi khanyile  |  courts

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