Man chains self to court railing

2016-01-29 12:14
Celimpilo Dladla chained himself to a railing in the foyer of the high court in a bid to draw attention to his plight.

Celimpilo Dladla chained himself to a railing in the foyer of the high court in a bid to draw attention to his plight. (Ingrid Oellermann, The Witness)

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Pietermaritzburg - Court officials and onlookers were startled on Thursday by the sight of a man who chained himself to a railing in the foyer of the high court in a cry for help.

When court staff approached him and started to plead with him to release himself from the railing, the man refused and initially claimed that he did not have keys for the two padlocks on the chain. He said he was not prepared to unlock the chain unless someone listened to his problem.

Patience Hlabangana comforted the man — who later identified himself as Celimpilo Dladla of Msinga — as he broke down in tears. After being told that help was at hand, and warned that if he could not get free the chain would be broken by force, he eventually relented and produced keys for the padlocks.

He was then led, still visibly upset, to the registrar’s office where court officials consulted with him.

Dladla left the office in a happier frame of mind with an undertaking that an attorney would be appointed to represent him.

Dladla’s complaint is that he spent more than 10 years in jail, from 2000 to 2011, in connection with a robbery in the Estcourt area, even though he claims he was innocent. He wants to lodge a civil claim for damages.

He said his previous attempts to get help from prosecutors, Legal Aid and even the Premier’s Office, all came to nought.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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