The fawning praise given to an arsonist because he has now graduated from a tertiary institution can only be described as rank hypocrisy and a new low in our plummeting social standards (Mercury, May 10).
Last October Bonginkosi Khanyile was jailed for public violence as a result of his leading role in the disruption of academic classes on Durban tertiary campuses, the torching of buildings, the wanton destruction of equipment and part of the Howard College campus law library. Khanyile even told Independent Newspapers that he was “proud” of the fact that UKZN Pietermaritzburg students had torched a campus building (Daily News, October 11, 2016).
It beggars belief that praise can be heaped upon Khanyile when he showed contempt for education by his violent acts which intimidated and jeopardised the studies of thousands of law-abiding students. What also seems to have escaped the Mercury’s doting is the fact that for all his protests that fees must fall, Khanyile himself was on a full bursary of taxpayers money granted to him by the KZN Premier’s office.
While in prison, Khanyile claims to have drawn inspiration from reading books about Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Dikgang Moseneke. One wonders if he noticed that none of them advocated public violence and the destruction of institutions of learning. Moreover, civilised society has no sympathy for Khanyile’s carping about study conditions in jail when he saw fit to deprive others of the right to peaceful study.
Overall, what is particularly galling about Khanyile and the doting media coverage afforded him is that he has never shown a shred of a sense of shame or remorse for his anarchic actions. That ought to prompt a reality check for the state of society because excessive tolerance leads to anarchy.
Sent into The Mercury and published, 12 May 2017.