Bonginkosi Khanyile spent 155 days in jail, the longest any student spent as a result of arrest because of the student protests.
“I wasn’t arrested because I did anything illegal, “he says. “It was detention without trial, an old apartheid tactic which was used by the ANC against me to prove that they have a political stronghold in KwaZulu-Natal.”
Khanyile says over 800 students were arrested in the FMF protests but he remained incarcerated the longest.
With the help of Economic Freedom Fighter’s leader Julius Malema and advocate Dali Mpofu, he is a free man and the first thing on his mind is completing his degree.
He was released on Friday and three days later, he is already at the Durban University of Technology finalising his registration to continue his post graduate degree in Public Management and Economics. He will attend his first lecture tonight.
He comes clean to DRUM about the infamous sling-shot which he carried during the FMF protests and subsequently landed him in trouble.
“It’s actually just a fashion statement, I carry it all the time I don’t use it as a weapon,” he says.
“I did not attack any police office with my sling shot.”
His charges were: The possession of explosives, public violence and assaulting the police.
He was denied bail in the district court, regional court, High Court, and the Supreme Court. He was released on R250 bail after the matter was taken to the Constitutional Court.
Prison was difficult, and he had his moments of doubt but, with his new found freedom, he is not going to stop advocating the cause for free education.
“We must do a final round of protests and we are going to have two meetings this week,” he says.
DRUM asks if he has a new strategy to protest that does not involve violence and possibly landing him back in jail.
“Our new strategy is to be more creative and do things legally. Being in the presence of Julius Malema and advocate Dali Mpofu was reviving,” he says.
“They are great minds and leaders that the African continent has produced. Having the support of a revolutionary leaders shows that we are on the good side of wanting change.”