Students from the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) on Tuesday turned out in their numbers at the High Court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court to support Mcebo Dlamini, who was arrested in connection with protests for free education.
The former Student Representative Council leader was arrested last month and charged with assault, malicious damage to property and theft.
Dlamini, who was also part of the #FeesMustFall campaign, is asking the high court to grant him bail after the magistrate’s court turned his request down.
Outside the court some students from Wits said they were writing exams, but they were there to show support to “their comrade”. They said they had a bus that was ready to take them back in time to write exams in the afternoon.
The students estimated at about 100, were joined by parents, Anglican Bishop Jo Seoka and unionist Zwelinzima Vavi.
Vuyani Pambo, a Wits student and #FeesMustFall member said they have asked university workers to join students on Wednesday when the court will make a decision on Dlamini’s bail application. The 30-year-old is being represented by well known advocate Dali Mpofu.
“We are going to make sure that knows we have been with him, in spirit, in trying times,” said Pambo.
A student from the Stellenbosch University, who said her name was Jodi, joined the student protest outside the court. She said she was thrilled with the show of student solidarity.
Jodi said she was, however, disgusted by police presence at court.
“We are here being peaceful, and resolute but we’re met with violence,” she said.
Seoka said taking students to court was meant to “crush the movement, fight political battles and hijack their struggle”. He said “the system” was supposed to protect students and not to be unbecoming towards them.
The court will make a decision on Dlamini’s bail request on Wednesday.
African News Agency