UCT student activist's trial delayed as State asks for more time

Masixole Mlandu (Netwerk24)
Masixole Mlandu (Netwerk24)

Cape Town – UCT political science student and activist Masixole Mlandu will have to wait another month for clarification on his intimidation case in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

The State revealed on Wednesday that it needed more time to complete its investigation. It had apparently hit a snag with video footage, and needed assistance with facial recognition.

The defence objected to the request for a postponement, saying investigators had had more than enough time to resolve the issue.

Mlandu, dressed in an ethnic print shirt and maroon pants, seemed relaxed in the dock.

Magistrate Goolam Bawa granted a final postponement until February 27, and Mlandu’s bail was extended.

He was arrested on October 12 last year, after he allegedly led a group of students who broke into the UCT campus protection services office and intimidated the guards.

Mlandu's arrest came after he had spent the previous week in Pollsmoor Prison awaiting a bail hearing on charges of malicious damage to property and assault.

Read more here: UCT student activist appears in 3 separate court cases

He was released on R500 bail. He also stands accused of contravening a court order.

Mlandu allegedly tried to force students to take part in campus protests and was part of a group which barricaded the entrance to Upper Campus last year. 

His release followed stone throwing at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology's (CPUT) Cape Town campus, where a door was damaged during protests on October 24. The case includes two CPUT workers.

Mlandu was also arrested on May 25 for trespassing on campus.

He was initially expelled due to the role he played in the "Shackville" protest in February. Students erected a shack on Upper Campus as a symbol of the struggle for student housing and financial exclusions.

In September, students again started protesting, calling for UCT to reinstate those who had been suspended, interdicted, or expelled following Fees Must Fall protests.

They called for the university to institute a Shackville Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 2017.

Mlandu was among those taking part in negotiations about this with the university. The university agreed to institute this process.

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