Students are confident that Fees Must Fall leader Mcebo Dlamini will be released after his lawyer argued that his arrest was politically motivated.
During Dlamini’s bail application at the high court sitting in Palm Ridge this morning, Advocate Dali Mpofu said that the courts were being used to fulfil political agendas and that no evidence existed that implicated Dlamini.
Mpofu said that the best evidence of this was a meeting between President Jacob Zuma, National Prosecuting Authority boss Shaun Abrahams and Justice Minister Michael Masutha that took place at the ANC headquarters in October, a few days before Dlamini’s arrest.
Mpofu also argued about the state’s inability to produce a video that allegedly implicated Dlamini.
“The police promised to produce video evidence to prove public violence; all that was produced was two still photographs.
Why does the state claim the person on the photograph is the applicant because it is a rear view of the person?” Mpofu asked.
Outside the court, students who had come to show support for Dlamini sang songs as proceedings were under way.
Also present was student leader and former student representative council president of Wits University Shaeera Kalla, whom police allegedly shot 13 times with rubber bullets.
“We are here to support comrade Mcebo and all arrested students around the country. We will not be deterred by their repressive tactics to kill this movement,” Kalla said.
Echoing her sentiments was student leader Jodi Williams from Stellenbosch University, who was also arrested a few weeks ago.
“The police were taking photos of us as Shaeera was speaking and I’m sure they are sharing these photos nationwide with police officers all over the country to victimise students. They have our faces; they have our names and details,” Williams said.
“Our universities are working along with the state and the courts to demobilise and derail Fees Must Fall. We are fighting some really big enemies here but we remain resolute with our demands for free education,” she added.
Mpofu said that the chances that Dlamini’s prosecution would ever see the light of day is zero.
He said Dlamini could report once a month to the Hillbrow Police Station as part of the bail condition and the grounds to hold him in custody were “nonsensical”.
Dlamini was charged with multiple criminal offences which include malicious damage to property, public violence, theft, assault of a police officer, being in possession of dangerous weapons, and contravening a court order.
The judge will give a ruling on the bail application tomorrow.