Fees Must Fall leader Mcebo Dlamini has called on protesting students to intensify their fight for free education not minding that he is behind bars.
Seated in the court dock awaiting his bail hearing on Tuesday, the protest leader who appeared in court for another hearing said students must continue to fight for free education.
Dlamini who was also Former Wits SRC president was arrested on Sunday on the charges of public violence, theft, malicious damage to property and assault.
Speaking on this, he said he was happy that he had been arrested, and not other student protesters.
“I am happy it was me who went in than students. As a leader, you have to lead by example,” he said as he urged students to continue with protests for free education in their lifetime, saying this was a “genuine call”.
Dlamini while in the dock blamed the police for his arrest saying it was part of the move to censor students. He, therefore, noted that his arrest would not deter him from leading the Fees Must Fall movement.
“We are not condoning violence. I am not guilty. There is no amount of police brutality or other methods they may use to try and censor us or delegitimatise us to probably try to attack the dignity and our integrity, students must continue with the fight… The struggle continues.”
The leader is expected to apply for bail when he appears in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday as he makes his second appearance in court.
Meanwhile, acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane reported that a total of 567 people have been arrested during Fees Must Fall protests over the last eight months.
He said arrests were made in 265 cases on the charges which include violence, intimidation, and malicious damage to property.
Phahlan, however, refuted the claims that the police department targeted specific individuals, as had been suggested in the case of Mcebo Dlamini.
“The role of the police is to prevent, investigate and combat crime and to maintain stability. Those who commit acts of criminality will be investigated and when sufficient evidence is obtained, arrests will be effected,” he said.