The defence failed to prove that Magistrate Albertus Roux was wrong to deny student leader Mcebo Dlamini bail, the High Court sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court heard on Tuesday.
During proceedings Prosecutor Steven Rubin said that papers from Advocate Dali Mpofu, for Dlamini, were clear to be politically motivated.
Dlamini, 30, faces charges of public violence, theft, malicious damage to property and assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm following his arrest at his Wits residence in October.
“We are not playing a game and need to be mindful of public assumptions,” Rubin said.
Rubin argued that the ruling by the magistrate was correct.
“Dlamini would know being a law student what lawful behaviour at a protest is,” Rubin.
Rubin argued that Mpofu was ignoring Dlamini’s theft charges which were stated in the investigating officers affidavit that said Dlamini stole riot gear.
“I’m speechless that such serious charges are being considered as laughable,” Rubin said.
At his previous appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court, Roux said releasing Dlamini on bail would be not be in the interest of justice because the evidence before the court proves that the accused would not be able to maintain peaceful protests.
Rubin said that Dlamini mislead the court by saying that he was writing a test, however, it turned out that he was not registered for the subject he said he had to write.
“As students wrote, [they] knew exactly what tests [they] were writing because it would include cramming,” Rubin argued.
Earlier Rubin responded to Mpofu’s argument that Dlamini was discussed at a meeting with President Jacob Zuma and the National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams, by saying that the meeting was not solely about Dlamini but about the student protests.
“We don’t know the content of the meeting,” Rubin said.
While submitting his arguments, Mpofu said that the State had said they had video footage which they would use as evidence at the previous bail application.
Rubin responded by saying that at no stage was it said that video footage would be provided during the previous bail application.
Rubin referred to an affidavit that was submitted by the investigating officer that stated that Dlamini had incited violence during the #FeesMustFall protests, instructing students to cause disruptions.
Earlier, Mpofu said that it was incorrect for Roux to suddenly say that Dlamini was throwing rocks at a police van, yet he had previously said that he could not identify the person in the picture.
“What we have here is a situation where Dlamini was made a victim of made up charges then taken to a bail application. We have a situation where his legitimate fears of this being a political issue leave us with no doubt that this trial will never see the light of day. It is doomed to fail,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu added that the arrest of Dlamini was a way to intimidate other students and and example of what would happen to them if they continued to challenge the State.
“Dlamini should be released on warning,” Dlamini said.
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