'He is no criminal, he's an activist': Twitter rallies behind Kanya Cekeshe
Student activist Kanya Cekeshe appeared in the Johannesburg magistrate's court for a bail application, pending appeal, on Wednesday.
Cekeshe was sentenced to eight years behind bars for public violence and damage to state property. Three years were suspended after he pleaded guilty. He was sentenced in December 2017 for crimes committed in 2016, at the height of Fees Must Fall protests, SowetanLIVE sister publication TimesLIVE reported.
Members of the EFF, including Mbuyiseni Ndlozi and Vuyani Pambo, were out in their numbers to support Cekeshe. Ndlozi said the justice system was flawed, as it granted Oscar Pistorius bail throughout his trial, yet was failing to do the same for Cekeshe, who faced less serious charges.
According to The Citizen, his legal team argued that the court did not have enough evidence to place Cekeshe at the scene and that he was ill-advised by his first legal representatives to plead guilty. Judgment was reserved and he will appear in court again on Monday.
South African courts gave Oscar Pistorius a bail throughout his “murder” trial. Why not give #KanyaCekeshe, who faces much lower charges like damage to property, a bail?— Mbuyiseni Ndlozi (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) October 9, 2019
Kanya did not kill anyone, he did not even harm anyone! The state does not even know why it’s opposing bail!
On social media, many echoed Ndlozi's view, accusing the justice system of targeting those who fight for just causes, while real criminals roam free. Scores of messages of support were conveyed on the platform, using #FreeKanyaCekeshe.
The consistency & huge support that fighters from @WitsEFF have been showing Kanya Cekeshe is applaudable. Thank you fighters for taking time out of your academics to be in solidarity with an innocent young man whose only crime was fighting for free education. #FreeKanyaCekeshe— Morena (@SiyaNyulu) October 9, 2019
#FreeKanyaCekeshe indeed, Their Justice system is designed to eliminate black kid's from being educated, while heavy criminals are still roaming around our street. Our sin as Black's is to fight against the system that is suffocating us. DON'T STOP FIGHTING ✊. We are close 2win— #Vote4SongezoMankahlaMrBerlinNovember?? (@ZizmanZizipho) October 9, 2019
Kanya Cekeshe is innocent— #FreeKanyaCekeshe (@PikokoThabang) October 9, 2019
Kanya Cekeshe is innocent
Kanya Cekeshe is innocent
His only crime is firmly believing that no student should be deprived of education in SA because of their financial backround for as long as they qualify to be in a lecture hall#FreeKanyaCekeshe