“I do not think the magistrate was wrong. The appeal is denied,” Judge Nokosinathi Chili said as he sealed the fate of Bonginkosi Khanyile and ensured he will spend Christmas behind bars.
The judgment delivered in less than two minutes at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Thursday, left Khanyile’s friends and supporters initially confused before reality struck that Khanyile's appeal had failed.
Chili did not give reasons for denying Khanyile’s bail application.
Once outside the high court students in Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) T-shirts vented their anger by trashing Church Street with rubbish. Bin bags were torn and dustbins were overturned prompting members of the Public Order Policing to step in and arrest two students.
Khanyile’s mother who was present during the court proceedings expressed shock at the court outcome.
“I am dismayed and shocked that my son cannot receive bail whilst criminals that have committed gruesome acts are not prosecuted,” she said.
EFF Student command secretary general Phiwaba Mdokwe said the student command body was not happy with the justice system.
He expressed further dismay at the length of the judgment that Chili delivered, lamenting that the judge had not provided any reasons for his decision. He insisted however that such a setback would not deter them.
“We will continue to solider on in support of fellow comrade Khanyile and those who have been taken into custody today,” said Mdokwe.
EFF leaders attempted to get the two arrested students released insisting to the police that the students were wrongfully arrested by the police as they were just supporters wearing EFF T-shirts and not inciting violence.
A member of the television station ANN7 was slapped allegedly by one of the angry supporters. KwaZulu-Natal National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) Youth Chairperson Lungisani Mkhize protested that the court proceedings were not free and fair adding that the legal system was not independent.