Former SRC president Mcebo Dlamini at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. The #FeesMustFall leader is facing several charges for his alleged violent role during protests at Wits. File picture: Chris Collingridge
Johannesburg - #FeesMustFall activist and former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini will apply to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for his case to be dealt with outside of court.

Dlamini was in the dock at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday to get a trial date for his case and bail conditions.

He narrowly escaped being locked up last month after arriving late at court. Dlamini said it was due to the difficulty he was experiencing after walking 56km to the Union Buildings to deliver a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The student activist produced a doctor’s certificate and an explanation that was accepted by magistrate Albertus Roux. Roux then said Dlamini’s bail conditions were reinstated in full.

Dlamini’s trial date was once again pushed back, to September17, because the exam season is approaching and his exam timetable has not been released yet.

Gauteng NPA spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane said the NPA did not want Dlamini’s trial to jeopardise his academic timetable.

Dlamini’s legal counsel also indicated to the court that they would be making an application of condonation to allow for mediation outside the court.

“Can this matter be discussed out of the courtroom, where there will be the NPA, where there will be the university, where there will be the minister of justice and us as students?” Dlamini asked. “Let us deliberate these cases in a more conducive and healthy environment, not when we are threatened with going to prison.”

Roux allowed the postponement but stressed that Dlamini’s matter had been on the court roll since 2016 and that a trial date needed to be set soon.

Dlamini is facing charges of malicious damage to property, theft, possession of a dangerous weapon and public violence, which led to his arrest in 2016. This stems from the violence that broke out during the #FeesMustFall violence at Wits University.

Mjonondwane confirmed that Dlamini had made an application for an alternative dispute resolution mediation (ADRM). If the ADRM is approved, then Dlamini and the other parties would continue the case with mediators outside of court.

Mjonondwane said although the request had been made, the NPA would wait for the written application before they commented.

After court adjourned, Dlamini told the media that they would be sending an application of condonation because “there is movement on the ground” after his walk to the Union Buildings.

“After the long walk we have engaged. We have met with the minister of justice, we’ve spoken on the alternative remedies, and one of them is to write to the NPA,” he said. Dlamini added that they would ask the NPA to relook at his charges.

With regard to #FeesMustFall activists requesting amnesty from Ramaphosa, Dlamini said they would not admit any guilt.

“We are saying we were part of those protests where violence erupted,” he said.


The Star