Government must free 'political prisoners' - Mcebo Dlamini

2017-08-15 15:39
Mcebo Dlamini. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Foto24, file)

Mcebo Dlamini. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Foto24, file)

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Johannesburg - If government is serious about free education, it should free "political prisoners", Fees Must Fall activist Mcebo Dlamini said on Tuesday.

"The ANC has come out and announced their intention to roll out free education. The sad and frustrating part is that the student leaders - those who actually fought - are still being dragged to court and appearing every day," he said outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.

He made a brief appearance on charges including damage to property, public violence, violating a court order, assault, and theft. He wore a bottle-green shirt with a map of Africa, and an army green jacket.

"Free education didn't come through romance and cuddling, it came through blood and sweat and tears, and pain," he said.

Dlamini said he would expect government to drop all charges and free what he called political prisoners - those who had been instrumental in advocating for free tertiary education.

READ: Former Wits SRC president's case postponed

'Political influence'

His case was postponed to August 29. He said his lawyer could not make it to court. He was not sure why. At his last brief court appearance, Dlamini said that his lawyer dropped him due to political pressure.

"It's nothing but a political plot. These students who are appearing here are political prisoners and these cases are political by their nature.

"[These are] cases of human rights and demanding what is rightful to a black South African child, so there will forever be political influence in them. There are those who want to maintain the status quo but the students will challenge the status quo," he told News24 outside court 10.

"I think on the 29th, we will get a completely new legal team that is energetic. As the court has alluded, there won't be any further postponement," he said.

Dlamini said the court appearances were draining and stopped him from concentrating on anything else.

He was arrested in October 2016. The High Court sitting in Palm Ridge granted him R2 000 bail on November 9.

Read more on:    mcebo dlamini  |  johannesburg  |  university fees  |  university protests

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