Bail judgment reserved for Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe
Johannesburg - The bail judgment of the only #FeesMustFall activist who is still in custody was on Wednesday reserved at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.
The state opposed bail on the basis that Kanya Cekeshe was not a student at Wits University at the time of the violent protests.
State prosecutor David Mothibi maintained that the written confession submitted by Cekeshe was accurate and should stand.
However, Cekeshe’s lawyer Tembeka Ngcukaitobi told the court that his legal representation at the time did not represent him well.
He also pointed out that the prosecution failed to produce any video evidence and that the still images being used as evidence against him provided no conclusive proof of any wrongdoing.
In his criticism of Cekeshe’s previous counsel, Ngcukaitobi stated: “The counsel was always late and would arrive to proceedings after 12pm. He advised his client to plead guilty without informing him that there’s a possibility he would be sentenced to eight years. He later revealed that he was in fact a civil lawyer and was only 20% equipped for criminal law.”
The matter has been postponed to 14 October. Cekeshe’s legal counsel want him to be released on bail immediately and for leave to appeal the magistrate's decision to sentence him to eight years' imprisonment.
His close friend Nkanyiso Ngqulunga said Cekeshe’s mother was nervous and very happy to see her son, given that she had not seen him for a very long time.
“We are very happy today with the proceedings even though the state came unprepared as usual. They could not critique or argue the points that were raised by Ngcukaitobi. We raised mistakes and defects in the transcripts as well as discrepancies in the sentencing procedure."
Speaking after proceedings, the national spokesperson of the EFF, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, said: “He (Cekeshe) was fighting for an affordable education. The #FeesMustFall struggle was a struggle even for the unborn - that a black child may be able to be born in a country where the doors of learning are open and are free.
“He wasn’t on the picket lines of Nyaope and drugs and alcohol abuse. Even the police know, they arrested him at #FeesMustFall not at a Casper Nyovest concert but on the picket lines of those black children who are saying we don’t want to be judged on our ability to pay but on our intelligent capabilities.”
Cekeshe has been held at the Leeuwkop Prison in Sunninghill since 2017 on an eight-year sentence for malicious damage to property, a charge he pleaded guilty to at the height of the protests.
African News Agency (ANA)