In The News South Africa

Jailed student activist embarks on hunger strike at Durban Westville Prison

Fees Must Fall student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile who has spent almost 5 months in prison for charges related to illegal gathering and the incitement of violence, has embarked on a hunger strike at the Durban Westville prison.

This was confirmed today by the spokesperson of the Free Bonginkosi Khanyile organising committee in Kwa-Zulu Natal, Philani Gazuzu Nduli, who visited Khanyile in prison earlier today. According to Nduli, Khanyile has embarked on this hunger strike to protest ‘his continued unjust incarceration’.

Nduli said “the protest is directed to the government on its refusal to implement free decolonised education which is the reason he got arrested in the first place. We call on the State not to continue opposing bail and to cease the prosecution against a poor innocent student”.

Students at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) describe final year student Khanyile not only as a committed activist, dedicated to the call for free decolonised education but as an exemplary academic student. Khanyile achieved multiple distinctions after he wrote his university exams at the Durban Westville prison in January. Khanyile is a member of the EFF student command.

“Bonginkosi is scheduled to graduate in April this year and he must be released in time so that he can attend his graduation”, Nduli said.

A march to the US Embassy in Durban, initially planned for today, has been postponed to 23 February 2017.

Sthembiso Ka Shandu, a prominent Fees Must Fall student leader said “on the 23 February we will close the streets of Durban, as we embark on a march that seeks to cry out to the international community and ask for their help against injustices faced by black students in South Africa”.

  – Weekly Expose staff reporter

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