The arrest warrant for Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile has been withdrawn after he provided an explanation over why he did not show up in court this week.
Khanyile, who is alleged to be one of the instigators of the July unrest, failed to appear in the Durban Magistrates Court on Monday.
An arrest warrant was then issued, but Khanyile has since presented a medical certificate to court for his absence, City Press reported.
According to National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA’s) KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson Natasha Kara, the arrest warrant was withdrawn after Khanyile’s certificate was accepted.
Khanyile is facing charges of inciting public violence and holding an illegal gathering during the unrest.
The 31-year-old was arrested in August in connection with the unrest and was released on R5,000 bail.
His case was also postponed to 8 February.
Khanyile was charged with inciting public violence and holding an illegal gathering after he appeared in videos initially encouraging people in a Shoprite store to demand that former president Jacob Zuma be released from jail and then, during the unrest, telling people to continue rioting and looting until the 79-year-old was released.
After Khanyile was arrested, his mother complained he had been treated like a “hardened and wanted criminal”.
She questioned why her son was arrested at his student residence at Wits University at 2am.
The 8-to-19 July riots – which took place in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng this year – resulted in more than 330 people losing their lives, with the violence ostensibly being triggered by Zuma’s imprisonment.
Previous run-ins with the law
In 2019, Khanyile received a three-year prison sentence, which was suspended for five years. He was also ordered to serve three years under house arrest.
In 2018, he pleaded guilty to four charges related to the 2016 Fees Must Fall protests in KwaZulu-Natal.
His guilty plea was related to public violence, possession of a dangerous weapon and two counts of failure to comply with police orders.