Wits student activist, Mcebo Dlamini, has been dropped by his attorney, Thabo Kwinana
Dlamini made the announcement on Wednesday, July 26, outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, and said his case had been postponed to August 15, 2017, as a result.
Dlamini was arrested at Wits at the height of the #FeesMustFall protests in October 2016. He was charged with violating a court order, violence, assault, theft, and malicious damage to property. He was later released on R2 000 bail on condition that he did not unlawfully disrupt academic activities at the university.
Dlamini said, “As student activists we no longer know what needs to be done, or what’s going to happen the next day. For instance, we came here and the attorney withdraws from the case, saying that there is too much political pressure he is receiving. He now fears for his workers and for his life as well.”
Wits SASCO Chairperson Smanga Nhlengethwa confirmed that Dlamini’s lawyer had dropped him, saying that there was a lot happening in the ANC (which is reported to have provided thelawyer for Dlamini) and that “some comrades in the ANC are putting pressure on Dlamini’s lawyer”. This could be the reason the lawyer had dropped the case, according to Nhlengethwa.
Matladi Moloi, a second-year Social Work student said “South Africa’s justice system is not fair. It seems like there is an agenda set against Mcebo. I think we [students] must support Mcebo throughout because he was arrested for a legitimate cause (free education).”
Dlamini said he was unsure if he would be appointing a new lawyer or not, but he would try to persuade Kwinana to come back as the lawyer had come a long way with the case.