#FeesMustFall leader to spend another night in jail

Johannesburg – Arrested Wits #FeesMustFall protest leader, Mcebo Dlamini, will remain behind bars for a third night.

State prosecutor Steven Rubin opposed the Dlamini's application arguing he was a flight risk and might go to Swaziland where he was born. Rubin said Dlamini had also misled the court when he said he had a test to write on Tuesday.

Mcebo Dlamini leads Wits students during a #FeesMustFall protest. File picture: Nqobile Sithole. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

He said the State was in possession of footage showing the #FeesMustFall leader in possession of dangerous weapons, referring to sticks and stones and also showing him attacking a police officer.

In his affidavit, Dlamini clarified his age and indicated that he's actually 30 years old and not 32 as previously reported in the media.

His lawyer, Mongezi Ntanga said Dlamini only knew his real age when he was reunited with his mom as he was raised by his aunt.

Dlamini said he has no intentions of fleeing the country because he's still a student at Wits and it would be "political suicide" to disobey the court.

He was also willing to give in his passport. He also denied assaulting a police officer as the state had alleged, instead he said he was the victim in the situation.

Judgment will be delivered on Wednesday.

Dlamini has already spent two nights behind bars after he was arrested during the early hours of Sunday morning at his residence He faces a string of charges relating to his involvement in fees protests. These include public violence, theft, malicious damage to property, possession of a dangerous weapon and assault.

The accused first appeared on Monday and had his bail application postponed to Tuesday to verify his residential address.

On Monday Dlamini asked the court to release him on bail immediately because he needed to write an assessment test, but the magistrate was not moved.

The court also heard on Monday that Dlamini suffers from asthma and needs medication. The magistrate said his legal team should arrange with the police station where he’s being held so that he gets his treatment.

Before his court appearance on Wednesday Dlamini said he would continue “fighting for free education”.

 Dlamini said: “The struggle continues, in my view I think they are trying to silence us and delegitimise us, probably trying to attack our dignity and integrity … the call is genuine and the students must continue with the fight.

“Some of these things make us very strong. More than anything I’m happy that it was me who went there (prison) than the other student. As a leader you always lead by example.”

A large group of students as well as other #FeesMustFall leaders were at the court to show support for Dlamini.