Wits student leader to apply for bail

Johannesburg - There’s a large police contingent at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court this morning (Tuesday) ahead of Wits student leader Mcebo Dlamini's appearance.

Some of the armed officers are stationed inside the courtroom where Dlamini is due to apply for bail while others are outside.

Wits student leader Mcebo Dlamini is facing charges which include public violence, theft, malicious damage to property, possession of a dangerous weapon and assault. File picture: Nqobile Sithole. Credit: INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Dlamini is expected to apply for bail after spending two nights behind bars.

The 32-year-old, who was arrested during the early hours of Sunday morning at his residence, 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.

Dlamini, the former president of the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) and one of the #FeesMustFall leaders, has since called for a shutdown of the institution.

But on Monday, he argued through his lawyer Mongezi Ntanga in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court that he wanted to be released on bail as he was due to write an examination on Tuesday.

Magistrate Pieter Du Plessis denied his request and postponed the bail application to allow certain particulars to be verified.

This included Dlamini’s age as he apparently told police that he was born in 1986 but the State said they have information that he was in fact born in 1983.

His address also needed to be verified as he listed the university as his residence and gave authorities his mother's address as an alternative.

Du Plessis added that an agreement could be reached with the university for the examination to be written at a later stage.

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.

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

They were thwarted by a large contingent of police officers from entering the packed courtroom and instead gathered in their masses in the corridors.

Violent student protests erupted last month at several universities across the country when it was announced that university fees would increase next year.

Since then, there have been ongoing clashes between students and police, with scores of people being injured and many others arrested.