Charges against Mcebo Dlamini are politically motivated, says Dali Mpofu
Charges against Fees Must Fall leader Mcebo Dlamini are politically motivated, the High Court sitting in Palm Ridge heard on Tuesday.
His lawyer, Dali Mpofu, said evidence of this was a meeting between President Jacob Zuma, Justice Minister Michael Masutha and NPA head Shaun Abrahams at the ANC headquarters in October, days before Dlamini was arrested.
“This meeting constitutes the best evidence of the feared political interference.”
Dlamini is appealing the decision by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on October 19 to deny him bail. He faces charges of malicious damage to property, theft, assault and public violence during student protests at Wits University.
It was not just a wild statement Dlamini had made in his affidavit, Mpofu said.
It was difficult to imagine Zuma, Masutha and Abrahams having a legitimate and lawful meeting to discuss students’ protests without the ministers of finance and education, and the police commissioner being present.
The only reasonable conclusion that could be drawn was that the politicians were seeking to unduly interfere in the student protests.
He said, if the charges against Dlamini were politically motivated, it would be reminiscent of the apartheid era.
Mpofu argued that the video footage that prosecutor Steven Rubin had referred to in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, during Dlamini’s first bail hearing, was fictitious. Rubin said police had footage of Dlamini throwing a brick at the police.
He, however, only supplied the courts with two still photographs that apparently showed Dlamini with his back to the camera.
“Why does the state claim that the person in this photo is the applicant, because it’s a photo of the rear of this person?” Mpofu asked.
He said he knew for a fact that the state did not have any video footage of Dlamini throwing a brick at police.