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Kabelo's plans held hostage

Pumza Fihlani

Pumza Fihlani

In an ironic twist, it is now Kabelo Thibedi's plans that are being held hostage.

The court's delay in setting an appeal date is making it all but impossible for him to plan his future.

The young man, who made waves when he held a Home Affairs official hostage in November 2005, is still waiting for a court date to appeal against his five-year sentence.

The possibility of serving the jail term is a reality that Thibedi cannot escape; it hangs over his head like an axe. The waiting and the uncertainty make him restless.

Speaking to Sowetan yesterday, Thibedi said: "It feels like the court is too relaxed. I don't understand why it takes this long to set a date."

The 22-year-old was found guilty of kidnapping by the Johannesburg magistrates' court late last year.

His sentence sparked a heated debate across the country, with most people saying that the sentence was "too harsh".

Thibedi, who is out on R3000 bail, has immersed himself in community work in Soweto. Together with the Young Communist League, he launched a campaign last year to help people who have bureaucratic problems to obtain their IDs.

"The campaign is going well. A lot of people have come forward and I hope that we can help them," Thibedi said.

Though Thibedi feels his life is on hold, he is doing all he can to keep moving.

The first thing he did when he finally received his ID was to apply to study communication science at Unisa.

"I will go and pay the registration money when the university opens later this month. I cannot wait to get started," he said excitedly.

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