Mcebo Dlamini will go on trial on July 30.
Former Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) president and #FeesMustFall activist, Mcebo Dlamini, has to wait four more months before his trial can finally get under way.
Dlamini appeared at the Johannesburg Central Magistrates’ Court on Friday, March 2, for a trial date to be set. He will appear again on July 30, when his trial will commence.
Dlamini was arrested in October 2016 during the #FeesMustFall protests, and faces seven charges including the assault of a police officer, theft, malicious damage to property, public violence, intimidation and two counts of contempt of a court order.
“We’ve always been ready for trial. We’re kinda (sic) relieved that eventually we are going to trial and we have been saying to the state ‘find us guilty’,” Dlamini told Wits Vuvuzela.
Dlamini said Advocate Dali Mpofu, who secured bail for him in November 2016, would represent him, along with a team of lawyers. “We will be here on [July] 30th and 31st as those two dates are set aside for trial. We are very much ready and I am confident that we will be vindicated,” he added.
In his previous appearance, Dlamini said that the charges against him were politically motivated. “We are saying these charges are politically motivated and we understood how they came about in the beginning in that probably government was trying to clamp down the protest and actually to defuse the fire,” he said.
The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Gauteng spokesperson, Phindi Mjonondwane, disputed that there was political pressure. “The NPA is not a political organisation, therefore there is no way that we can be pressurised by politicians in pursuing criminal matters,” she said.
“What concerned us as the NPA, inasmuch as we agree that these protests were for a good cause, but we were more concerned with the criminal elements that were brought to our attention as the NPA, and therefore, it would have been a dereliction of duties from our side to look away when we are made aware that there are certain criminal elements within these protests, much as the citizens of this country have a right to protest. But those protests must be confined within the constructs of the law,” Mjonondwane said.
Wits Vuvuzela, Dlamini rejects plea bargain to secure legal career, February 23, 2018
Wits Vuvuzela, Mcebo Dlamini refuses to accept plea bargain, February 20, 2018