Students to ask justice minister to release Mcebo Dlamini

Wits students say they are shocked and disgusted at the treatment of the student leader

Some Wits University students, who are not part of the Fees Must Fall movement, have expressed shock and disappointment that the student leader Dlamini was denied bail.

Speaking shortly after the announcement of the court’s decision, three students said to News24 that the judicial system had exposed its flaws on Wednesday.

READ MORE: No bail for Mcebo Dlamini

Students who were attending class during Dlamini’s bail hearing said they were horrified that Dlamini would remain in prison while convicted murderers such as Paralympian Oscar Pistorius received a slap on the wrist.

“This just shows the power dynamic in this country and in the law system. It shows that the justice system only serves the wealthy and the white people. Its mind-boggling how Pistorius was allowed so many privileges, but a student leader fighting for the rights of ordinary students is denied bail. I’m shocked and disgusted. This is a travesty of justice,” one student, who wished to remain anonymous, told News24.

Anusha Naicker, who has been against the shutdown of the university, said she was in class when she read a tweet breaking the news of the court’s decision to deny Dlamini bail.

READ MORE: Mcebo Dlamini gains favour with students

“I was part of the march that advocated for students to go back to class. I want to finish my degree, but I cannot be complacent [about] the treatment a fellow student received today. When I and some students in class saw the tweet, we were ready to march out of class. It’s not fair. It’s really a sad day for us as students,” she said.

Another student, who also wished to remain anonymous, said some students were planning to write to Justice Minister Michael Masutha to petition for the release of Dlamini. “What is (acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso) Phahlane doing about the third force he has been talking about? Instead of arresting students, police need to find the real perpetrators of violence. How can they allow politics to influence policing?

READ MORE: Wits protest leader Mcebo Dlamini to appear in court

“We are pissed off and we can’t sit in silence any longer. The justice minister must act.”

Student leader Vuyani Pambo held a mass meeting with students and workers at Soloman Mahlangu House to discuss a way forward following the judgment.

Dlamini was denied bail in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. Earlier, wearing a green jacket, blue pants and a white keffiyeh around his neck, Dlamini looked at ease as he waited for the bail decision to be delivered. Dlamini was arrested in the early hours of Sunday at his residence at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The State previously said Dlamini might might flee to Swaziland if he was granted bail.

– News24 Wire