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State has failed to produce video evidence: Mcebo Dlamini

05 October 2017 - 11:50 By Neo Goba
Student activist Mcebo Dlamini. File photo.
Student activist Mcebo Dlamini. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / City Press / Elizabeth Sejake

Student activist Mcebo Dlamini has accused prosecutors of failing to produce evidence against him.

Dlamini appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday‚ accompanied by his mother and a few students from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Prosecutor Steven Rubin asked Magistrate Andre Petersen to postpone the matter to November 22 for the state to provide certain aspects of video evidence.

He said both parties had agreed to postpone the matter prior to the court proceedings.

Dlamini's attorney‚ Nelson Mathibe of Nkome Attorneys‚ suggested that they could apply for the matter to be withdrawn but would only do so if Dlamini ordered them to do so.

"What is outstanding is the video evidence that they keep talking about [and] I am told that there's many video footages that prove what our client has committed. We have requested a lengthy postponement so that we can consult the client based on the disclosure that we have been furnished with‚" Mathibe said.

On September 7‚ Rubin asked the court for a postponement for state closure.

"What is outstanding now is to consult with the client and come back to the state with regard to our client's instructions‚ whether to proceed with the trial or to write representation for the withdrawal of the charges‚" said Mathibe.

Dlamini briefly appeared in the dock on Thursday clad in blue jeans‚ a shirt emblazoned with an image of anti-apartheid leader Steve Biko‚ a grey coat and grey sneakers.

Following proceedings on Thursday‚ Dlamini said the constant postponements were caused by the state's inability to gather evidence and had affected his preparation for final examinations‚ starting on October 18.

"It is frustrating and sometimes I wonder why the state is eager to pursue these non-factors because clearly they don't have a case. Today they are (have) failed to bring the evidence because we are here today as per their promise that they will furnish us with all the relevant evidence and they have come to court and have failed to give us the video footage that they are standing on‚" Dlamini said outside courtroom 10.

"The degree that I'm doing‚ which is post-graduate LLB‚ has a limited number of repeats‚ so if I fail this year‚ that's an automatic academic exclusion. Going into the examinations with such pressure‚ confusion and uncertainty because of the case hanging over my head like a sword‚ is very detrimental‚" he added.

Dlamini was arrested in October 2016‚ and was released on R2‚000 bail in November by the High Court in Palm Ridge.

He is facing charges of violating a court order‚ public violence‚ assault‚ theft‚ damage to property and being in possession of a dangerous weapon related to the 2016 Fees Must Fall protests at Wits University.


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