BCM Youth Council leader in court
The chair of the BCM Youth Council, Ondela Sokomani, 25, appeared in the Mdantsane magistrate’s court on Wednesday on five charges connected to a hit-and-run incident involving a group of students last year.
On March 6 last year, Sokomani allegedly drove into the group of protesting Buffalo City College students at John Knox Bokwe campus in Mdantsane.
Two students were injured and taken to Cecilia Makiwane Hospital, where they were treated and discharged.
Sokomani was finally arrested on Tuesday, more than a year after the students’ injuries.
It remains unclear why Sokomani was visiting the college as he was neither a registered student nor in the management of the college.
By the time the Dispatch arrived on the scene after the incident, Sokomani had left.
He faces charges of:
Reckless and negligent driving;
Failing to stop his vehicle;
Failing to ascertain the nature and the extent of any injury sustained by any person;
Failing to render assistance to an injured person; and
Failing to report the incident to a police officer or traffic officer within 24 hours.
The Dispatch reported at the time that the students were protesting over accommodation and non-payment of NSFAS allowances.
Sokomani allegedly drove into them as they were demonstrating in front of the campus’s main building.
Angry students overturned his car, causing substantial damage.
Sokomani was arrested at his BCM office on Tuesday and spent a night in police custody before appearing in court on Wednesday.
In the gallery was his mother and the secretary of the Youth Council, Sipho Kilani.
Attempts to get the mother’s name were thwarted when she became hostile to the reporter and people with her hurled insults.
Prosecutor Chekira Fourie told magistrate Anton Pretorius that the state intended to oppose bail on the grounds that the suspect was a flight risk.
Sokomani’s attorney, Asanda Pakade, of Godongwana Ngonyama Pakade attorneys, told the court that his client had no previous convictions.
Sokomani was elected chairperson of the BCM Youth Council at a chaotic conference on March 6 this year.
The case was postponed and Sokomani was remanded in custody until a date yet to be agreed on by the defence and state.