20 October 2016
Naeemah Dudan is a 2nd year Bachelor of Arts student at Wits University. She writes for Salaamedia. This is what she experienced on Wednesday, 19 October 2016.
Mcebo Dlamini was quite optimistic this morning before the judge made the decision that his bail application was unsuccessful. He told the media that the students must not disappoint as they are fighting for a genuine cause. He stated that his case is not a criminal case but a political one.
Judge Roux said that Dlamini had shown that he was incapable of following court orders. On Monday, Dlamini’s lawyer said that he had a test to write on Tuesday and therefore the hearing should not be postponed. This acted in disfavor towards Dlamini as this turned out to be false.
If bail was to be granted under certain court order conditions, it could be possible that Dlamini would not follow them. There was also the worry that Dlamini might be a flight risk and flee to Swaziland, where he was born.
When the judge made his ruling, his supporters and #FeesMustFall leaders became emotional. Shaeera Kalla, a former Wits SRC president, went up to Dlamini and hugged him.
Outside the court, workers and protestors had gathered in support of Dlamini and upon hearing the news of their leader they began to sing the amended version of the national anthem.
A very emotional Vuyani Pambo spoke to the media saying that prison is for rapists, murderers and corrupt officials that are walking around freely while “children” sit in jail fighting for education.
Later speaking to the crowd he said that today was a testing day and that the students must not retreat and not surrender. “We must make sure that Adam Habib knows that he has committed a crime against us,. We must make sure that the government of Jacob Zuma knows that they have committed a crime against us, the time of hiding the truth is gone. We are demanding our rights!”
Mcebo Dlamini’s trial is set to begin on 15 November 2016.
Meanwhile, at the Trinity Church students gathered to hear the speakers from the peace accord organized by the academics. While there was not enough space in the church, student leadership asked students to reconvene in Solomon House where everyone could be present.
Adam Habib and the senior executive team were present but was asked to leave by students who felt that Habib had shown complete animosity to them in the four weeks of protests and did not welcome him in the church.
It was rumored that he was asked to come to Solomon House but did not appear to address students there.
Former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, was a keynote speaker at the peace accord and said that the police are being used as a buffer between the government and the people. She said that we needed to come together to find lasting solutions to stop that.
Vuyani Pambo asked the leadership panel that was present to stand with the students and defy the orders of the curfew that was put in place by Habib. Among the speakers were Ahmed Kathrada, advocate Dali Mpofu, ZwelinzimaVavi and Jay Naidoo.