Cape Town – University of Cape Town #FeesMustFall activist Masixole Mlandu is expected to appear at the Wynberg Regional Court on Friday.
Mlandu’s last appearance on 01 February was postponed after the prosecutor said that Mlandu needed to attend four counseling sessions before the case is completely withdrawn. This is in addition to Mlandu having completed 150 hours of community service with the National Institute for Crime Prevention and the Reintegration of Offenders (NICRO).
He was charged with for his alleged involvement in public violence during the 2016 #FeesMustFall protests.
Mlandu said that he will be attending his last counseling session on Thursday and he is not sure whether there would be sufficient time for the Nicro officer to draft a report that will be submitted to the court on Friday.
“I think the case will be postponed,” said Mlandu.
He and several other Western Cape student activists have managed to escape without prison terms or criminal records as the state opted to divert their cases to community service following public pressure by students involving marches to parliament calling for amnesty for all student on trial and those convicted.
Some activists have not been so fortunate. Amla Monageng who was a student leader at the University of Pretoria when he was arrested and convicted following protests against the exclusionary use of Afrikaans at the institution has recently completed his one year house arrest term.
In January KwaZulu Natal activist Bonginkosi Khanyile was sentenced to three years under house arrest wholly suspended for five years for public violence related charges from September 2016 #FeesMustFall protests.
Meanwhile, Mcebo Dlamini, the former president of the Wits SRC, is also expected to return to court on 09 April for the start of his trial. In his previous appearance, the prosecutor made known the state’s intention to try Dlamini after mediation between Dlamini’s defense and the state failed.
Khanya Cekeshe, a student at FootPrint Media Academy, is currently serving a five year prison term in Leeuwkop prison for burning a police vehicle during the free education protests.
Following marches and petitions by student activists calling for amnesty for all those charged and convicted, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said that there would be no blanket amnesty nor presidential pardon. Instead, the minister offered to assist the students in approaching the National Prosecuting Authority to consider each case individually and based on the merits thereof decide on the possibilities of diversion, mediation and other forms of restorative justice.