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Fees Must Fall Activist- Bonginkosi Khanyile Arrested by Hawks for Alleged Role in July Violence

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  • The  South African Special Investigation Unity- Hawks have nabbed a former Fees Must Fall activist in connection with the recent unrest that saw over 300 people dead and thousands arrested.
  • The suspect is due in court on Monday.
  • It is alleged he was involved in inciting public violence during the unrest.

The radical Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile, 31, has been arrested in Johannesburg for allegedly instigating the recent unrest and looting in KwaZulu-Natal.

While the Hawks did not confirm his identity, they released a statement confirming they arrested a 31-year-old man in Johannesburg. The allegations against him are related to incitement of public violence through social media and other platforms during the period of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal.

“He was arrested at one of the higher learning institutions in Johannesburg and was escorted to KwaZulu-Natal where he was detained,” spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said in a statement on Friday.

He is due to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

Khanyile recently spoke on behalf of the Mchunu family during the arrest of former Ukhozi FM personality Ngizwe Mchunu.

Mchunu was granted bail in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in July.

He was accused of inciting violence linked to the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

Former president Jacob Zuma handed himself over to the Estcourt Correctional Centre in July to serve a 15-month jail sentence.

This led to a Free Jacob Zuma campaign.

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What later followed was days of unrest and looting, mainly in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Khanyile posted a #FreeJacobZume tweet on 13 July 2021, followed by several more touting the campaign.

Khanyile is no stranger to the law – he was previously sentenced to house arrest on public violence charges.

The court found he was a suitable candidate for correctional supervision, and was subsequently fined R5 000 (or three years in prison), suspended for five years.

This after he pleaded guilty to twice disobeying police orders to disperse, public violence and possession of a dangerous weapon – a slingshot which he used to pelt police with stones.

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