Mcebo Dlamini given suspended sentence for violence during #FeesMustFall protest

09 March 2020 - 17:01
By Tankiso Makhetha and Karabo Ledwaba
Mcebo Dlamini
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla Mcebo Dlamini

#FeesMustFall activist Mcebo Dlamini handed down a suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to public violence and contravening SA's immigration laws.

Dlamini was sentenced to two-and-a-half years imprisonment, which was wholly suspended for five years, in relation to the charges he faced emanating from the FeesMustFall protests in 2015.

He was arrested in 2016 and charged with violating a court order, public violence, theft, malicious damage to property, and assaulting an officer during the protest.

The National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Phindi Mjonondwane said Dlamini approached it with the intention of pleading guilty.

"He approached the NPA and said that he wants to plead guilty.The case was brought forward to today for that purpose. He pleaded guilty to the charge of public violence and one of being illegally in the country so he was sentenced to two years for the first charge of public violence and six months' imprisonment for the one of being illegal in the country. We accepted the plea bargain and we stopped prosecution on the other charges," Mjonondwane said.

Dlamini, who was defended by lawyers Dali Mpofu and Aviwe Yakopi, is now contemplating his options to stay in South Africa.

“He was born in Swaziland but his parents are from South Africa. His mom fought to bring him back to South Africa but she died in 2018. We now have the options of having his DNA tested from his family or applying to declare him as South African with home affairs,” said Yakopi.

His lawyer said because Dlamini was facing criminal proceedings he could not be deported from the country.

Dlamini was given three days to approach the department of home affairs to review his status in South Africa.