Johannesburg - #FeesMustFall activist Mcebo Dlamini is due to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Monday. Dlamini is facing charges of violating a court order, public violence, assault, theft, and damage to property related to the 2016 protests against "colonised" tertiary education at Wits University.
Last month the activist narrowly escaped being locked up for contempt of court because he had not yet arrived at the courthouse by the time the case was called.
The activist, who was born in Swaziland and raised by his PAC activist mother as well as an uncle who was an MK soldier, participated in a 56.6km walk from Wits University to the Union Buildings to petition President Cyril Ramaphosa to grant amnesty to all students facing criminal charges related to the #FeesMustFall protests last month.
South Africa's criminal justice system supports alternatives to prosecution such as restorative justice and the power to grant reprieves to offenders.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha
said his department supports the process by way of facilitating applications and draft memoranda on the basis of which the minister makes a recommendation to the president for decision.
"In this particular instance, I proposed the following to the students: The students will constitute a delegation which will provide a list of all affected students, i.e. those who are arrested and still in custody or detention, charged or awaiting prosecutorial decision, on trial and sentenced – including those serving custodial sentences in a correctional facility," said Masutha after meeting with students in Cape Town and Pretoria last month.
"The Minister has undertaken to assist the students in approaching the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to consider evaluating each case, specifically in order to determine the seriousness or otherwise of the charges, the weight or otherwise of the available evidence and, where appropriate, possibilities of the option for diversion, mediation or other forms of restorative justice in the case of those students who are yet to appear before the courts."
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