Tears in court as UKZN 11 remain in custody

2016-10-12 06:00
PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile UKZN students outside the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

PHOTO: nokuthula khanyile UKZN students outside the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court.

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

STUDENTS from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, who came out to support the 11 detained burst into tears last Friday in the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court public gallery upon hearing the 11 will remain in custody for another 10 days.

The 11 students - Wakeni Chuma, Siyathemba Magwaza, Minenhle Sibisi, Ntabane Kopedi, Mayibongwe Ngcobo, Palisa Langa, Lindokuhle Mhlongo, Thembeka Mpanza, Princess Shabalala, Siyabonga Mbambo and Noluthando Lubanya from the Pietermaritzburg campus - were detained on 22 September following a standoff with the police during protests over tertiary education fee hikes.

The students are facing charges of public violence, failing to comply with police, assault and malicious damage to property.

Prosecutor Pet Davids said the state had video­ footage showing the violent behaviour of the 11 students at UKZN.

“They were all seen throwing stones and bottles at the police. This is a direct contravention of the court order granted to the university indicating that students must desist from malicious behaviour. They also damaged the university’s property, police vehicles and motor vehicles.”

Davids argued that the state was opposing bail because the university premises were in danger and there was no guarantee of the safety of other students should the 11 be released.

“Since these students have been arrested, there has been peace at the university and lectures are continuing as per normal. If we release them on bail, we cannot guarantee this type of behaviour will stop.”

She said if the violent protests continued there was a high possibility of shutting down the university.

“This will impact others, who won’t get to write their exams and they will lose a year of studies. If this matter is not taken in a serious light, more serious cases will be brought before this court,” she said.

‘Advocate Mazwi Dlamini, representing the 11, said the state had no “real reasons” for opposing bail.

“The state says they are a danger to the university, but there is no real proof any of them damaged the property. This constitutes hearsay, there is nothing to prove it.”

Dlamini argued that keeping the students detained without bail would be unconstitutional stating that none of them had previous convictions or pending cases.

Magistrate Mamsy Boikhutso said she wanted to look at the video footage the state claims showed the 11 throwing stones and bottles at the university before she could finalise the bail application and come up with a decision.

She adjourned the case to 10 October for a bail decision.

Outside court, SRC president Sphelele Nguse expressed his disappointment with the outcome of the court proceedings.

“We are disgusted with how the matter is being handled. You can’t keep students in jail for such a long time, they are not criminals. We are very upset about the outcome of the bail hearing. We will go back and consult with other students and strategise a way forward. We want these students released.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.