Charges withdrawn against two more #FeesMustFall students

2018-08-30 19:51
Student Manna Storom, (left) who was finally cleared of #FeesMustFall-related charges poses with his lawyer Lufuno Musetsho. (Jenni Evans, News24)

Student Manna Storom, (left) who was finally cleared of #FeesMustFall-related charges poses with his lawyer Lufuno Musetsho. (Jenni Evans, News24)

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The cases of two more people, arrested in connection with the #FeesMustFall uprising, were withdrawn in the Wynberg Regional Court on Thursday, amid growing demands for the clearing of charges against all students.

"Now I can lift my head and walk free," a relieved Manna Storom said outside the court.

READ: Charges have not fallen for 7 Cape Town #FeesMustFall protesters

The second-year politics and philosophy student at the University of Cape Town said he was arrested for giving a speech in the library and having a discussion about the hardship students face.

He was charged for allegedly violating an interdict that prohibited disruptions.

He said part of the discussion was about students who had killed themselves.

READ: Justice minister offers assistance to Fees Must Fall students facing charges

Community service

Storom was grateful for the support he received from his friends and for his advocate, Lufuno Musetsho, who helped broker the agreement in terms of which he completed community service at a police station.

The 20-year-old said the court process was "very stressful" but that he was relieved the case had been withdrawn.

Charges against another student were also withdrawn, but she left the court visibly distressed, along with a group of friends who circled her protectively. Further information on her case was not immediately available.

READ: Nothing in writing, yet - FMF's Bonginkosi Khanyile on 'agreement' with justice minister

The withdrawals come about five months after charges against 29 students were withdrawn in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court.

The students faced various charges, including the contravention of the Public Gatherings Act, public violence and trespassing.

Last Wednesday, a group of students held a demonstration outside Parliament to demand that all students who faced charges related to the #FeesMustFall protests be cleared.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha told them that, while President Cyril Ramaphosa could not intervene as some had requested, the justice ministry could help students apply for the review of their cases or for pardons.

READ: Protesters demand amnesty for FeesMustFall accused

The students believe that it is unfair for them to still face charges related to alleged acts of public violence or the violation of interdicts that arose during the resistance to fee increases in 2015.

Former president Jacob Zuma announced fee-free education for the poor in December.

Students who have pending cases and those who have already been sentenced, feel they should be cleared because even the government eventually agreed with them and provided extra money to put more students through college and university.

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Read more on:    cape town  |  education  |  university fees  |  protests  |  university protests

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