By MOHAMMED ISMAIL
With almost 100 days in jail, the Economic Freedom Fighters Student Command leader Bonginkosi “Education” Khanyile was paid a special support visit by the EFF’s Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema at the Westville Prison in Durban last Sunday (8 January). At least 500 students and supporters of the EFF gathered outside the prison singing struggle songs and bore placards calling for Khanyile’s release.
The charismatic leader was strong in his call of support for Khanyile who he hailed as a hero of the #FeesMustFall struggle. He condemned South African president Jacob Zuma saying that the state was keeping the student leader in jail because they (the state) “wanted to keep Zuma happy”.
He questioned the reasons why Khanyile was denied bail when he was indeed not a threat to the state, was not a flight risk, did not threaten witnesses and neither did he break his bail conditions. “On which grounds are they keeping him in prison? They are keeping him in prison because Zuma said they must break everything that is supporting the fees must fall movement,” said the EFF leader.
Khanyile was visited by the top leadership of the Central Command Team of the EFF led by Malema, while he reiterated his call that the EFF undoubtedly supported the #FeesMustFall campaign. He said that the CCT was at the Westville Prison to give their support to the Khanyile family. “The struggle was not for mothers and fathers but was a difficult task that is reserved for the brave ones,” said Malema.
“All of us, where we come from – in the townships and the rural areas — the people who fought for our struggle are very few. You can count them, because the struggle is not for the weak. All of us, from time to time, we ask our parents where were you when others were fighting for our country?
“The Khanyile family they are very fortunate that their child is amongst those who have taken the risk to fight for a noble cause — a cause that will usher in economic freedom for all of us.”
Malema said that the student leader’s mother gave birth to a hero of the struggle and that she was not like (FW) De Klerk’s mother who gave birth to a reject. “We salute you mama, and we salute you more because you still have the courage to stand with us. You have a child who is fighting for a just cause. We are with you.”
He said the EFF has assembled the most powerful legal brains in the country to release Khanyile from prison. Malema said that in KZN it was very difficult, quipping that he would not want to be arrested in KZN but could be arrested anywhere except KZN because everything the province “smells of Zuma and corruption” and that must be rejected.
Malema said that he was “happy” that supporters came to the prison as Khanyile’s morale was down. “When we said that you are outside he said that his spirits just got revived and he is looking forward to fight this battle of fees must fall. He asked that leaders must bring more books for him so that he can read more and when he leaves this prison he will be a graduate of life because he would have read all the books in this country. We just cautioned him not to read wrong books, he must read proper books which will make him a solid revolutionary who is a hero in our eyes. We will continue to support him.”
Malema said that they (the state) did not arrest Khanyile but arrested the cause of free education. He said that they wanted to break the spirit of those who are fighting for free education. He said that this was a cause that the EFF believed in and that “we are fighting for education”.
Malema said that is the system could be challenged and educating more people will lead to economic freedom. He said the reason they hate free education is “because it is a direct threat to white privilege and supremacy, capitalism”.
“They hate free education because that is true liberation. When they colonised us, when they oppressed us, the only thing they took from us was education because an educated person would use all methods in the book to reclaim the land. They would use all methods in the book to fight for the mines, for the banks and for the financial sector and everything important in the economy. Today we are the sellers of cheap labour because we are not educated.”
Malema said that he wanted an educated South Africa.