#FreeCekeshe: Mzansi reacts as student activist's application for leave to appeal, bail denied
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.”
We note the dismissal of both the leave to appeal and bail for fees must fall activists Khaya Cekeshe by the Johannesburg Magistrate Court. We’re in the process of urgently assisting him with an application for presidential pardon or other legally available avenues.— Minister of Justice and Correctional Services 🇿🇦 (@RonaldLamola) October 14, 2019
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:
The justice system is lenient on rapists and murderers yet they are harsh on a student who fought for free education. The life of a black person is a struggle, we fight for free education, land and safety. Black child you are on your own. #FreeKanyaCekeshe #KanyaCekeshe— Man's Not Barry Roux (@AdvBarryRoux) October 14, 2019
Words will never do justice to describe the hurt and disappointment I am feeling. When the camera zoomed on #KanyaCekeshe when the judge denied him bail, the shaking of his head and the look in his eyes crashed my heart 💔💔💔. The pain of a black child 😭😭😭#FreeKanyaCekeshe— #FreeKanyaCekeshe (@Rev_Mente) October 14, 2019