Mcebo Dlamini found guilty for public violence

Image via: Twitter

#FeesMustFall activist Mcebo Dlamini found guilty of public violence

The student activist will, however, avoid doing hard jail time.

Mcebo Dlamini found guilty for public violence

Image via: Twitter

#FeesMustFall student activist, Mcebo Dlamini has been found guilty of public violence on Monday 9 March. Dlamini has been sentenced to seven years and six months, with five years being suspended. Dlamini’s remaining two year sentence has also been suspended.

He was given a suspended sentence following his plea and a sentencing agreement which means he will avoid jail time.

Dlamini is a Swazi-born South African politician who was one of the leaders of the massive #FeesMustFall protests in South Africa which led to the introduction of free tertiary education for the poor in the country. 

The law student was arrested facing a range of charges including; assault, public violence, theft and malicious damage to property, all linked to student protests at the University of the Witwatersrand in 2016. 

‘I will take time to reflect’

Over the last four years, Dlamini has been facing a drawn-out court battle in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. 

Dlamini made the announcement of both his conviction and sentencing via social media.

“Today marked the end of my legal career. Court found me guilty of public violence, thus [sentencing] me to two years six months… Suspended sentence of five years. I will take time to reflect on my future moving forward including my political career. I thank you,” he said. 

Dlamini arrested in 2016 

The Wits University student was arrested in 2016 and charged with violating a court order, public violence, theft, and malicious damage to property during the #FeesMustFall protests. He was also accused of assaulting a police officer.

In 2018, Dlamini embarked on a 56.6km walk from Wits University in Johannesburg to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to ask President Cyril Ramaphosa to release student activists who were arrested during #FeesMustFall protests.

A Twitter user had the following to say: 

“This has to be the saddest day for a black child…we need to take the streets and defend our own.”

“We vote for politicians who protect a justice system that forgave white murderers and thieves while jailing young black kids who demand the free education those same politicians promised them,” said another. 

“Our justice system has failed us again. Corrupt politicians, corrupt business people and apartheid murderers are still roaming in our streets comfortably,” said another.