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'Let's settle Mcebo Dlamini case out of court'

Mcebo Dlamini
Mcebo Dlamini
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla

Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini says he will exhaust all the legal avenues available to him to avoid prosecution for charges related to the 2015 protests over free education.

Dlamini, 32, briefly appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court yesterday on charges of public violence, assault, malicious damage to property and theft.

"We are not trying to run away form the trial. My legal team and I have been saying that we feel the matter can be resolved through another route and not through the criminal justice system.

"We can reach an amicable solution without it being resolved by the courts," he said.

Dlamini explained that a guilty verdict on the charges would mean that he cannot practice as a lawyer after graduating from University of the Witwatersrand.

"The justice system has permanent consequences. Any verdict would mean that I cannot practice as a lawyer."

Yesterday, his legal representative Advocate Olelwa Siqongeana told the court that they intended to make fresh representations to newly appointed National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Shamila Batohi to consider withdrawing the charges as they are politically motivated.

"The former acting NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions) 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 or not.

"We also received copies of the docket but we are awaiting video footage from the state before we can proceed on the matter," she said.

However, magistrate Carlo Labuschagne said he could not set aside the matter pending the outcome of the representations as he was a stand-in magistrate on 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 to July 4 for a pre-trial conference," he said.

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