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News

High court judge rules student leader was denied his rights‚ grants him bail

A high court judge has criticised another court’s decision to deny student leader Mcebo Dlamini bail.

In his judgment on Friday Judge Ratha Mokgoatlheng said the magistrate “is clearly wrong” in its decision as it was “based on a total misdirection”.

Dlamini was arrested on a string of charges during last year’s student protests. They include public violence‚ theft‚ and assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The judge said Dlamini was denied his rights because he had not been able to study the video evidence used in the previous bail applications.

“There is not evidential basis whatsoever that the appellant has a propensity for committing public violence‚ malicious damage to property‚ theft or assault to cause grievous bodily harm‚” said Mokgoatlheng. “This factual conclusion by the court I quote is a total misdirection and shows the court exercised its discretion wrongly.”

He added that the State and the magistrate’s court contradicted themselves by arguing that there was video evidence showing Dlamini to be violent‚ yet the still images from the video were taken from behind‚ rendering it impossible to tell who it depicted.

Dlamini’s bail application in the high court‚ sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court‚ was successful. The student leader has spent almost two months in jail.