UCT three granted bail

2016-10-06 18:16
UCT student protests. (Paul Herman, News24)

UCT student protests. (Paul Herman, News24)

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Cape Town - Three University of Cape Town student activists were granted bail totalling R2 500 by the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday for charges relating to ongoing protests over fees and decolonised education.

Zukisa Sokhaya, who faces two charges of assault, was released on R1 000 bail.

Masixole Mlandu, charged with breaching an interdict banning him from campus, also got bail of R1 000.

Sokhaya allegedly pushed and threatened a student on campus with a stick and a rock, after the student pepper-sprayed him. The confrontation happened during a protest march.

Mlandu allegedly told a staffer to fetch workers to join their protest, which was considered as hampering the university's services. He was not allowed to be on campus or prevent people from doing their work, in terms of an interdict against him.

Magistrate Vanessa Miki refused an application by prosecutor Deshnie Naidoo to make a ban from campus part of their bail conditions.

Right to education

Naidoo submitted this was driven by a concern there might be more threats.

Miki said the university could file an application in the high court if it wanted to, to keep them off campus. Granting this as a condition of bail would be a cheap form of suspension or expulsion, she said.

They had the right to be treated as innocent and the right to an education, so should not be prevented from attending classes.

A third student, Sibusiso Mpendulo appeared in a separate court. He was granted bail of R500 after his lawyer, Lufuno Musetsho, said the students in the public gallery and outside the court told him they had run out of bail money.

He was accused of intimidation, assault, and crimen injuria. He allegedly shouted at campus security, saying he was going to burn the university down. A security guard took a photo of him and he shouted: "How many black people have you killed?"

Mpendulo shook his head in apparent disbelief when the allegations were read out.

As with the other two students, the magistrate, whose name was not immediately available, refused to ban him from campus, but instructed that he not have any contact with witnesses.

Police officials in court riled some of the students by telling them to stop slouching.

Earlier, there was a moment of confusion when the wrong person was brought in as Sokhaya.
Court was adjourned and resumed with other cases while he was tracked down.

After his release, Mlandu told students outside court that he was not afraid of arrest and vowed to continue protesting, possibly extending it to schools.

Some students have been protesting since Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande announced on September 19 that tertiary institutions could decide their own fee increases for 2017. They had to be capped at 8%.

UCT will be closed until Monday. It said the situation on campus was reaching a point "where we are at risk of serious conflict and escalating violence".

WATCH this video on the UCT student protests:

Read more on:    uct  |  university protests  |  university fees

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