Hear from friend who visits #FeesMustFall activist Kanya Cekeshe in prison

25 October 2019 - 07:12 By Nomahlubi Jordaan
Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe lost his application to appeal his conviction for setting a police van alight.
Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe lost his application to appeal his conviction for setting a police van alight.
Image: Tyrone Mkansi via Twitter

Convicted #FeesMustFall activist Kanya Cekeshe is not a violent person, said a fellow activist and friend.

Cekeshe has been in Leeuwkop prison in Johannesburg since December 2017, after being sentenced to an eight-year prison term, three of which were suspended, for public violence and malicious damage to property.

He had pleaded guilty to setting a police vehicle alight during a #FeesMustFall protest in 2016. Last week, the Johannesburg magistrate’s court dismissed Cekeshe’s application for leave to appeal against his conviction. His counsel indicated that they would appeal the decision in the high court.

Nkanyiso Ngqulunga described Cekeshe, a former media studies student at Footprint Academy in Braamfontein, as a quiet and calm person.

“He is not a violent person. He is driven by the need to fight for the disadvantaged. He always wanted to be a voice to the voiceless,” Ngqulunga said.

He said Cekeshe was arrested in his last year at the academy.

“He would have been working now in the media industry, because he was passionate about the media.”

Cekeshe had also registered for law, but pursued a media qualification instead, Ngqulunga said.

Asked what he missed about his friend, Ngqulunga said: “I miss a lot of things about him. I miss his spirit of ubuntu and the chats we used to have”.

He said he visited Cekeshe in prison once or twice a month to “catch up”.

Cekeshe, Ngqulunga said, was born in Johannesburg. He lived with his parents in Booysens and has three siblings.

“He deserves to be out of prison so he can continue doing the good work that he does,” Ngqulunga said.


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