A jubilant and newly released Bonginkosi Khanyile has overstepped the mark when he called for the possible murder of Swaziland's long-serving monarch, Mswati III.
Addressing an enthusiastic audience at the Durban University of Technology on Thursday, Khanyile spoke about the importance of decolonising education. He also referenced the support he had received from people across the world, including Swaziland, while he was imprisoned, which led him to the misstep.
He said the people of Swaziland were inspired by the Fees Must Fall campaign, adding they should depose their king, Mswati III, either through the ballot or the barrel of a gun because he was an oppressor, according to reports in various publications.
South Africa's Constitution safeguards freedom of speech with the specific exclusion of the incitement to violence.
Section 16 of chapter 2 read: "The right in subsection (1) does not extend to propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm."
"The right in subsection (1) does not extend to propaganda for war; incitement of imminent violence; or advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm."
Khanyile is a talented and popular leader, whose detention was widely regarded as unfair. He scored four distinctions while writing exams in prison. But his remarks effectively encouraging the assassination of a head of state, even if it is a vile one, violates South Africa's laws and could well see him charged again -- legitimately this time.
King Mswati III is one of the last absolute monarchs in the world, who lives a life of opulence while ruling a destitute nation.
Khanyile was arrested on September 27 last year. Several courts simply would not release him on bail, until the country's apex court ruled otherwise. His charges include participating in an illegal gathering, inciting violence and public violence. This allegedly occurred during a Fees Must Fall protest.
Khanyile's arrest followed the violation of bail conditions granted when he was arrested in February last year. He subsequently applied for and was denied bail three times.
Following his release from jail, student activist Bonginkosi Khanyile has declared 2017 the last year of "colonial education".
"I want to reiterate that 2017 is going to be the final round of colonial education. We are removing it. We will replace it with free and decolonised education," he told his adoring supporters.