Steven Tau
2 minute read
8 Nov 2016
2:21 pm

Mcebo Dlamini will only know tomorrow if he’ll be free

Steven Tau

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng had initially said he would make his ruling on Friday, but Mpofu pleaded for an earlier date.

Advocate Dali Mpofu talks to Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and other members of their legal team, 8 November 2016. Picture: Alaister Russell

Student activist Mcebo Dlamini will find out tomorrow if he will be released from custody, where he has been kept for nearly a month.

After being denied bail on two occasions, Mcebo’s defence team – led by advocate Dali Mpofu – applied for an urgent appeal, heard yesterday in the South Gauteng High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng had initially said he would make his ruling on Friday, but Mpofu pleaded for an earlier date.

“Okay, I will make a ruling [today], with the judgment to be handed down within 14 days,” Mokgoatlheng said.

Earlier in the day, the court heard how National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams and politicians met at Luthuli House [ANC headquarters in Johannesburg] to discuss the #FeesMustFall protest action.

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In his motion for Dlamini’s release, Mpofu argued that there was no evidence to support the accused being a danger to the public if released. He said the charges against Dlamini, including theft and public violence, among others, were “spurious”.

“These charges will not even hold any water whatsoever,” said Mpofu. “There is the issue of propensity where it is said the accused has always ignored court orders, this is laughable because the accused says he has never seen the court order of April 25.”

According to Mpofu, the charges are politically motivated. About the video footage apparently showing Dlamini in possession of dangerous weapons, Mpofu said only two still photos were produced when the case was heard in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court last month.

“All state counsel brought was a photograph of a person from the back, meaning they have not even says he has never seen the court order of April 25.” According to Mpofu, the charges are politically motivated.

About the video footage apparently showing Dlamini in possession of dangerous weapons, Mpofu said only two still photos were produced when the case was heard in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court last month.

“All state counsel brought was a photograph of a person from the back, meaning they have not even I’m sure are a political ploy to remove me and others from the struggle for free and decolonised tertiary education.”

But state prosecutor Steven Rubin said it could be disputed that a meeting ever took place at Luthuli House, in respect to Mpofu’s submissions.

“My submission is that we cannot accept the meeting was about the arrest of the accused,” Rubin said.

Meanwhile, some of the prominent public figures who were in court yesterday included Bishop Jo Seoka and trade union Cosatu former secretary-general Zwelinzima Vavi.

They both believe Dlamini’s arrest was politically motivated.