The South African Union of Students has joined a growing chorus of calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to grant amnesty to all student activists who were charged during the Fees Must Fall protests.
“As a union we find it morally unjust to continue purging students for engaging in a genuine and principled struggle that seeks to uplift the poor and marginalised communities‚” said SAUS secretary general Lwandile Mtsolo on Tuesday.
Mtsolo slammed the prosecution of fees activists‚ saying that citizens lived among those who had molested and raped‚ but students who protested for free quality education were jailed. Free education was a fundamental demand enshrined in the Freedom Charter‚ he said.
The call to grant amnesty to activists was kicked off by Mcebo Dlamini who walked to the Union Buildings to deliver a formal letter requesting amnesty from the president for protesters.
Free education activist Bonginkosi Khanyile from the Durban University of Technology was found guilty last week of public violence‚ failing to comply with police instructions and being in possession of a dangerous weapon. The charges emanated from incidents which occurred during the height of the university fee-hike revolt back in 2016.
Dlamini is facing charges of theft‚ assault‚ public violence and malicious damage to property relating to incidents that unfolded during the October 2016 fee-hike revolt. His case returns to court on September 3.
Nonkululeko Njilo – TimesLIVE