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'He is no criminal, he's an activist': Twitter rallies behind Kanya Cekeshe

Twitter is calling for the release of Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe.
Twitter is calling for the release of Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe.
Image: 123RF/Stockstudio44

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. 

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.

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