EFF hires ‘quality lawyers’ to fight for release of #FeesMustFall activist

January 8, 2017. EFF leader Julius Malema arriving in Westville Prison to visit Bonginkosi Khanyile, student who was arrested during the Fees Must Fall march. Picture: THULI DLAMINI
January 8, 2017. EFF leader Julius Malema arriving in Westville Prison to visit Bonginkosi Khanyile, student who was arrested during the Fees Must Fall march. Picture: THULI DLAMINI

Economic Freedom Fighters president Julius Malema said on Sunday that his party has assembled the best legal team to ensure the release of incarcerated KwaZulu-Natal #FeesMustFall activist Bonginkosi Education Khanyile.

He said Khanyile will continue the fight for fees must fall when he gets released and that he needed every EFF member’s support for that.

Using their parliamentary oversight privilege Malema and the entire top six of the EFF visited Khanyile‚ a leader of the EFF Student Command‚ in prison on Sunday to show their support for the Durban University of Technology student.

The EFF leadership was also accompanied by Khanyile’s mother Phumzile Khathini and Khanyile’s siblings.

Khanyile has spent nearly four months in jail after he was arrested on September 27 last year.

He has been denied bail by the Durban Magistrate’s Court and the Pietermaritzburg High Court on three previous occasions and is believed to be the only #FeesMustFall student still languishing in jail.

Addressing the a crowd of over 500 following the visit‚ Malema heaped praise on Khanyile’s mother saying she was very fortunate that their child is among those who have taken a risk to fight for a noble cause.

“It’s a cause that would usher in economic freedom for all of us. In your family‚ mama‚ you gave birth to a child; you are not like [FW] De Klerk’s mother who gave birth to a reject. You gave birth to a hero of our struggle. We salute you mama.

“You still have courage to stand with us. You have spent your festive season and Christmas days without your child who is in prison not because he’s a criminal‚ but because of his fight for a just cause. We salute the family for standing with your child in this difficult moments. We are with you. We have assembled the most powerful legal brains in our country to release him from prison‚” said Malema.

EFF lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi represented Khanyile in his last bail bid in December.

He and EFF national chair Dali Mpofu are believed to be the lawyers likely to help release Khanyile.

Khanyile‚ a final year Durban University of Technology public administration student and EFF representative‚ is facing eight charges including public violence‚ illegal gathering and inciting violence.

Part of what he has been denied bail for include the court assertion that he committed a similar offence while he was out on bail for charges levelled against him in February.

Malema has countered this saying while Khanyile was no flight risk and that there was no way to threaten witnesses because those witnesses are police‚ there was no ruling by the court that he could not participate in a gathering.

“On which grounds are they keeping him in prison? The court must first find that the gathering in which he participated was illegal. It cannot be the police who say that. They are keeping him in prison because they want to make Zuma happy. Zuma said they must break everything that talks about free education‚” said Malema.

“But we all know that in KZN it’s very difficult. I don’t want to be arrested in KZN. I can be arrested anywhere not in KZN because everything here smells of Zuma‚ every here smells of corruption and we must reject that‚ we don’t want a biased judiciary system. Why is a judge refusing to release this young man?” asked Malema.

“We support fees must fall‚ we pay bail for those who are arrested for fees must fall. We hire lawyers for fees must fall. And not just lawyers‚ quality lawyers and that’s what we have done for our arrested fighter here…he’s a hero in our eyes‚” he said.

Khanyile’s next court date is January 19.

EFF secretary-general Godrich Gardee said they are not waiting for Khanyile's next appearance and that they will be filing papers as early as Monday to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

"The matter is heading straight to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. We believe keeping him in prison has violated his rights to bail. We are not waiting for his next appearance‚" said Gardee.

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