#FreeCekeshe: Mzansi reacts as student activist's application for leave to appeal, bail denied

15 October 2019 - 10:33 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe has lost his application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence. He pleaded guilty to setting a police van alight during the Fees Must Fall protests.
Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe has lost his application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence. He pleaded guilty to setting a police van alight during the Fees Must Fall protests.
Image: Vusumzi_Gqalane via Twitter

News that Kanya Cekeshe was denied bail and leave to appeal his 2017 conviction and sentence has caused outrage on social media. 

On Monday, TimesLIVE reported that the Johannesburg magistrate's court had dismissed Cekeshe's application.

It refused his bail application, pending an application in the high court against his conviction and sentence for public violence and malicious damage to property.


Cekeshe was sentenced to five years behind bars in December 2017.

He was arrested in 2016 and pleaded guilty to setting a police van alight during the Fees Must Fall protests.

Politicians, among them EFF leader Julius Malema and minster of transport Fikile Mbalula, have called for the activist to be freed.

“We must fix this. This cadre must be freed, whatever it takes,” said Mbalula.

Malema said: “We have deployed the best legal brains, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, to set him free.”

After the verdict, minister of justice and correctional services Ronald Lamola said: “We note the dismissal of both the leave to appeal and bail for Fees Must Fall activist Khaya Cekeshe by the Johannesburg magistrate's court.

“We're in the process of urgently assisting him with an application for presidential pardon or other legally available avenues.”


On social media, many accused the justice system of being lenient on rapists and murderers, adding that the life of a black person was a struggle.

Here is a snapshot of the reactions:



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