Former Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) president, Mcebo Dlamini, is spending a second full night at the Cleveland Police Station holding cells. 

By Ayanda Mgede and Olwethu Boso

This, after his bail application was postponed to Tuesday, October 18. Post-grad law student Dlamini appeared at the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court on Monday morning, charged with public violence, possession of dangerous weapon, assault with grievous bodily harm, theft and malicious injury to property.

However, prosecutor Steven Rubin asked the court for a postponement, so the state could verify some of Dlamini’s personal details. According to Rubin, Dlamini’s date of birth and permanent residential address could not be confirmed.

Dlamini was arrested in the early hours of Sunday at the Wits Junction residence, and taken to the holding cells at Cleveland Police Station.

Monday’s hearing was Dlamini’s first appearance in court. His defence opposed the state’s application for a postponement, arguing that Dlamini would miss a test on Tuesday, and could even miss the upcoming examinations.  However, the state countered that he could be escorted to the university to write the test, and taken back to the cell afterwards.

Magistrate Albertus Roux granted the state’s application for postponement.

Dlamini’s attorney, Mongezi Ntanga told Wits Vuvuzela that his client was not coping but would not divulge details outside the courtroom.

In attendance were fellow students and Wits workers, some of whom were singing outside the court, to show support to the student leader. Some of the mediators in the Wits #FeesMustFall impasse were also present in court.

A supporter of Dlamini, and former SRC president, Shaeera Kalla, addressed the media afterwards, saying as students they were pleased that the lawyers had managed to keep Dlamini at Cleveland, and not “Sun City”, the Johannesburg Correctional Centre, as she alleged the state had proposed.

“We are very demoralised by the way in which these random postponements and arrests are taking place…We think that Mcebo needs to be strong as a large following of students are behind him, but it’s not about Mcebo, it’s about the greater issue,” Kalla said.