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Fresh representations will not halt Mcebo Dlamini's court case

Wits FeesMustFall leader Mcebo Dlamini.
Wits FeesMustFall leader Mcebo Dlamini.
Image: Neo Goba

The matter against Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini will go ahead despite his intentions to have charges against him withdrawn. 

Dlamini appeared briefly in the Johannesburg magistrate's court on Thursday on charges of public violence, theft, malicious damage to property and assault in relation to the 2015 Fees Must Fall protests.

His legal representative, advocate Olelwa Siqongeana, told the court they intended to make fresh representations to the National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) recently appointed national director of public prosecutions (NDPP), advocate Shamila Batohi, to consider withdrawing the charges as they are politically motivated.

“The former acting NDPP, advocate [Sibongile] Mzinyathi, declined our initial representations but we intend to make new representations to advocate Batohi,” Siqongeana said. 

She told the court this would determine whether the matter would proceed. “We also received copies of the docket but we are awaiting video footage from the State before we can proceed on the matter.”  

However, magistrate Carlo Labuschagne said he could not set aside the matter pending the outcome of the representations as he was the stand magistrate in the matter. 

“The representations are not part of the criminal process and I cannot wait for the outcome. I am going to postpone the matter for July 4 in order for a pretrial conference,” Labuschagne said. 

Dlamini was arrested at the University of the Witwatersrand residence during the protests for free education in October 2016. During his previous appearance, Dlamini’s council, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, told the court that he will be making fresh representations to the NPA since there is now a new NDPP.

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