Arrested students make surprise court visit

2016-09-30 09:13
Six arrested UKZN male students charged over the recent violence on the Pietermaritzburg campus made an unexpected appearance in the magistrate's court on Thursday.

Six arrested UKZN male students charged over the recent violence on the Pietermaritzburg campus made an unexpected appearance in the magistrate's court on Thursday. (File)

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Six male students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal charged over the recent violence on the Pietermaritzburg campus made an unexpected appearance in the magistrate’s court on Thursday.

They appeared a day earlier than planned, as the case had originally been postponed until Friday for a formal bail application.

The court had hoped to deal with the case on Thursday, and there was a strong police presence both in and around the courthouse to ensure law and order was observed.

However, the fact that the five female co-accused were not brought from Westville Prison, where they are being held, and that none of the students’ attorneys was available yesterday, meant the case could not proceed.

The case is now back on the court roll for Friday.

The 11 students charged in the matter were arrested during violent protests at UKZN’s Pietermaritzburg campus last week. They face charges of public violence, failure to comply with police orders, and interfering with official police duties.

The six male students looked subdued on Thursday as they filed into the dock and then back to the cells after being told the case was being rolled over until Friday.

While social media sites were abuzz on Wednesday night with reports that one of the men detained at New Prison had been stabbed, none of the students in court had any visible injuries.

Neither did any of them report being injured to the magistrate.

The posts, which stated that one of the students got into a tussle with an inmate at prison and was stabbed, caused a major outcry and led to a student meeting at UKZN late on Wednesday night.

Thereafter a small group of students attempted to stone vehicles and block Alan Paton Avenue, but police were quick to disperse the crowd.

Various sources at the prison and from within the students’ political party yesterday denied that any such incident had taken place.

The arrested students are: Chuma Wakeni, Siyathemba Magwaza, Minenhle Sibisi, Ntabankeka Kopedi, Mayibongwe Ngcobo, Mbali Langa, Lindokuhle Hlongwa, Thembeka Mpanza, Nobuhle Shabalala, Siyabonga Mbambo, and Samukelisiwe Nolu.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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