Why Student Leader, Mcebo Dlamini Was Denied Bail


Today, #FeesMustFall leader and former Wits SRC president Mcebo Dlamini was denied bail in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court

“It is necessary to weigh-up the freedom of the applicant. It’s not only the interest of the applicant but the community. The applicant was actively involved in the #FeesMustFall movement at Wits,” Magistrate Albertus Roux said.

“The evidence in his affidavit is not convincing. The applicant was not always friendly and honest with the court. He lied about a test that he needed to write, it was discovered that he was not registered for the set course and no test was scheduled”.

“It is not in the interest of justice to release the applicant where exceptional circumstances exist, it will not ensure the safety and the security of the public. [The] court is satisfied that it would not be in the interest of justice to grant bail. “

The case was postponed to November 15 and would be transferred to the Johannesburg High Court.

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Earlier, dressed in the same green jacket, blue pants and white keffiyeh around his neck, Dlamini looked at ease as he waited for the bail decision to be delivered.

Dlamini was arrested in the early hours on Sunday at his residence at the University of the Witwatersrand.

The State previously said Dlamini might might flee to Swaziland if he was granted bail

Prosecutor Steven Rubin told Roux on Tuesday that Dlamini was born in Swaziland and only relocated to South Africa in 2009. He, however, said he needed to verify this with the Department of Home Affairs.

In his affidavit, Dlamini said it would be political suicide to go against the court. He admitted that he was born in Swaziland, but said he relocated to Mpumalanga when he was 10 years old, and later moved to Soweto with his mother. Dlamini added that he could only afford R1 500 for bail. He told the court that he had two children, a 1-year-old and a 4-month-old baby.

Rubin read out an affidavit by the police which cautioned Roux against granting Dlamini bail. Police said they had footage of Dlamini inciting violence and urging students to prevent others from attending class. The police also claim that Dlamini assaulted a female officer during student protests.

Dlamini denied this, saying that as a student leader he did not condone violence.

On Monday, during his first appearance, Dlamini urged the court to grant him bail or allow police to accompany him to write a test.

Rubin, however, said that Wits University had denied that any tests or assignments were scheduled.

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