#FeesMustFall activists push for amnesty for detained leaders

Student-activists that participated in the Fees Must Fall movement in South Africa are calling on the government to drop charges against their leaders arrested during the street protest.

The key leader of the protest – Mcebo Dlamini – is currently facing charges of public violence and damage to property. Dlamini’s court case was postponed last Monday because he arrived late. The lateness violated rules of his parole.

He will also learn later this week whether charges against him and other activists will be dropped, following Dlamini’s walk to the South African Union Buildings last week to hand over a request to the Presidency for immunity.

One of the protesters, Khanya Cekeshe, is currently serving a five-year jail term at the Leeuwkop Prison for torching a police van during the protests. He was denied leave to appeal his sentence earlier this year.

Students who participated in the protest called on civil society groups to join in the effort to make government drop charges against the student-activist arrested.

#FeesMustFall Students from various universities asking President Cyril Ramaphosa to pardon active leaders arrested during the protest

A student-activist, Fasiha Hassan, said: “There’s a need for civil society to get involved in the call for amnesty of the students, that’s something we’re working on many different levels. We hope that more trade unions will do the same.”

Hassan said she expected the charges to be dropped.

“How do you go to court appearance after studying and failing a test? We are confident that at the end of this process, we will have the charges dropped,” she said.