Bonginkosi Khanyile intends pleading guilty to several charges, says his new lawyer

2018-07-19 18:08
Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile. (Mxolisi Mngadi, News24)

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

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Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile intends pleading guilty to several charges against him which stem from the 2016 Fees Must Fall protests.

After two days of evidence and a change in legal representation, Khanyile's new lawyer Danie Combrink was granted a postponement on Thursday until August 13.

He said some of the charges Khanyile intended pleading guilty to were public violence, possession of a dangerous weapon and failure to adhere to a police instruction.

On Wednesday, the Durban Regional Court heard how Khanyile and his Legal Aid representative Avinash Bissesur could not see eye to eye on a number of issues relating to the trial.

Khanyile has gone through several lawyers since his arrest.

The trial has taken two years to get under way after several postponements.

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

Finalising proceedings

Speaking after proceedings, Khanyile said he was happy with the postponement and added that the return date would likely mean that the matter would be finalised.

"As you know, this has been ongoing for two years now. I feel that there has been progress. I feel good. We fought for Fees Must Fall and free education is now a reality. Students are studying for free and that is good."

On Tuesday, a 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 the police who works out of the Public Order Policing division in Marianhill, allegedly captured Khanyile and his cohorts hurling stones and bricks at police.

In the video, a man who looked like Khanyile could be seen using a slingshot to hurl stones at police outside the Durban University of Technology, ML Sultan Campus.

Robins testified that a maximum of just 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, with stones thrown at us."

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