The trial of the alleged mastermind of the July riots, Bonginkosi Khanile, was postponed until Friday to give him time to expand and consult with his legal team. This came after Khanile’s defense told the court they needed more time to review documents the state had belatedly handed over to them.

Khanile was arrested in September for allegedly inciting violence during riots last July. The unrest resulted in widespread looting and property damage, resulting in the deaths of more than 350 people.

The trial of Fees Must Fall campaign activist Khanila was postponed from August 15 to August 26. He is among 19 people arrested last year for allegedly inciting violence during the riots.

He is accused of inciting violence and violating COVID-19 regulations that banned gatherings at the time.

During Khanile’s bail application, the state said there was a video recording of him allegedly addressing people at various locations.

Khanile is out on bail of 5000 rand on the condition that he cannot post on his Twitter account. Since late last week, the Hawks have arrested a further 26 alleged instigators who are said to have worked as a team to incite violence.
More people arrested:

They are tried separately. The Durban Regional Court heard on Monday that a new lawyer will lead Hanili’s legal team.

The defense also asked for the case to be adjourned so they could review the documents, which they said the state only released to them over the weekend.

But the state says they have been trying to turn over the documentation to the defense since July.

“The hearing of the case is scheduled from today to August 26. The state was prepared, and the prosecutor even went so far as to subpoena witnesses to continue the trial. We heard from the lawyers that, firstly, they wanted more time to instruct the lawyer, and secondly, that they only received the documentation from the state on Saturday. The prosecutor told the court that the state had been trying to get the defense’s attention since July,” says Natasha Ramkisan-Kara of the NPA.

Meanwhile, Khanile, who was supported by members of the “Patriotic Alliance” party, defended his innocence in an out-of-court hearing.

“I have no interest in running away from this court, no. I know this because I am innocent. Those who lead this business want to lead this process with feeling. They use feelings instead of law. How do you handle the ruling that this is your last reprieve on legal representation? But this is the first time I am making changes to the legal representation.”

Hanile’s trial will begin on Friday, August 19. The court warned that the trial would continue with or without the presence of a new lawyer.

A look at the damage caused by the riots:

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