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ADeC wants alleged instigators of July unrest to be charged with treason

Bonginkosi Khanyile appeared at the Durban Magistrate’s court for inciting public violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Bonginkosi Khanyile appeared at the Durban Magistrate’s court for inciting public violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Sep 25, 2021


Durban - KwaZulu-Natal-based leader of the African Democratic Change (ADeC) Visvin Reddy wants the instigators behind the July unrest that resulted in the deaths of more than 300 people and caused billions of rands in damage to the province, to be charged with treason.

Reddy, together with ADeC members, on Saturday took part in a motorcade in Phoenix from the Gandhi Luthuli Park to the South African Police Service (SAPS) station, where they delivered a memorandum.

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The memorandum detailed why alleged instigator Bonginkosi Khanyile, among others, should face treason charges, as their actions during the unrest in July constituted treason.

A screenshot of the memorandum handed over to the SAPS in Phoenix by ADeC on Saturday.

Further to the instigators, the memorandum stated that those who were arrested for “trying to protect their communities” should be given a fair trial.

The party demands that an independent national team of investigators and a senior national team of prosecutors be appointed to these cases, and that the most senior of the judicial officers in KZN should preside over the cases.

ADeC said all those charged with alleged crimes relating to the insurrection be released on bail immediately, and given the equal chance to prove their innocence.

It also demanded that charges against Bonginkosi Khanyile and any other instigators of the insurgence must be revisited, and consideration be given to charges of treason being laid against them.

Khanyile was granted bail of R5 000 earlier in September for his actions relating to the alleged insurrection.

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“Such a crime is so serious that it is incomprehensible why a district or regional court would deal with such a crime. In addition, for a crime which has caused the country to be destabilised, the perpetrator was given a slap on the wrist bail of a mere R5 000. Khanyile clearly is feeding off the incompetence of the state, as immediately after his release he continues to create mayhem amongst citizens.

“The investigators, court and prosecution that allowed such a serious crime to be treated as lightly as it was must immediately be removed from the case and their actions must be taken on review to a higher court. The views of the citizens in this case must be heard and taken into consideration. If Khanyile has not been charged for treason, then this must be done Immediately,” the memorandum said.

“In the cases where people were protecting their communities, they were arrested and are being held in custody without bail, while others - who created this serious crime and situation - are walking free. They continue to instigate treason against the state. The actions of the courts are one-sided and seem to favour the stance that the upsurgence of communities to protect themselves were racially motivated rather than to look at the serious crime that occurred prior to these incidents,” it continued.

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“The prosecution and judiciary at Verulam seem to be taking a political stance rather than exercising the law. The indications are that they have prejudged these cases in line with a certain political agenda, hence fuelling public dissatisfaction.”

Political Bureau