Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
5 May 2022
2:06 pm

Alleged unrest instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile joins Patriotic Alliance

Citizen Reporter

Khanyile was unveiled alongside five other people by PA deputy president Kenny Kunene on Thursday.

#FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile during his sentencing at Durban Magistrate's Court on 28 January 2019 in Durban. Picture: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thuli Dlamini

Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile, who is alleged to be one of the instigators of the July unrest, has joined the Patriotic Alliance (PA).

Khanyile was unveiled alongside five other people by PA deputy president Kenny Kunene on Thursday.

Introducing the former ANC and EFF member, Kunene labelled Khanyile as a “young leader” and praised for his activism.

ALSO READ: Arrest warrant withdrawn for alleged unrest instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile

“[This is] a man who has gone from the ANC to the EFF [and has] put his life on the line for Fee Must Fall for the students of this country to get what they are supposed to get which is free education.

“A young man that continues to inspire the youth… who has been treated like a terrorist in this country when he highlights the plight of young people. Please join me to welcome the young leader Bonginkosi Khanyile,” he said.

Khanyile was arrested in August 2021 in connection with the unrest and was released on R5,000 bail.

He was charged with inciting public violence and holding an illegal gathering.

This is 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 then 79-year-old was released.

READ MORE: ‘Zuma is proud of protesting students’

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 last 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.

Meanwhile, he pleaded guilty to four charges related to the 2016 Fees Must Fall protests in KwaZulu-Natal.

His guilty plea, which took place in 2018, was related to public violence, possession of a dangerous weapon and two counts of failure to comply with police orders.