News / South Africa

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
19 Oct 2018
1:52 pm

Mcebo Dlamini not intimidated or deterred by trial postponement

Makhosandile Zulu

Dlamini says that although his pre-trial was postponed to April next year he remains as 'strong as a buffalo bull'.

Youth activist Mcebo Dlamini outside the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on 19 October 2018 following his pre-trial postponement to April 2019. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

The pre-trial conference of youth activist Mcebo Dlamini was postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court today to April next year.

The matter was postponed to April 9, 10, and 11 2019.

Dlamini faces six charges, which include possession of a dangerous weapon, malicious damage to property, public violence, contempt of a court order, and assault.

Attorney Nelson Mathibe, Dlamini’s legal representative in the matter, said what they sought at today’s pre-trial conference was to “narrow the issues” in order to reduce the duration of the trial.

Mcebo Dlamini and his legal representative Nelson Mathibe outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

Mathibe said the matter was postponed to April 2019 because the presiding officer, who Dlamini appeared before during his last court appearance on September 20, indicated that their term of office was coming to an end in November.

“Meaning when we do proceed to trial, there will be another presiding officer,” Mathibe said.

Dlamini said today’s postponement was another delaying tactic by that state, adding that he is neither intimidated nor deterred by it but rather keeps gaining strength with each passing day.

“As we have always been saying, the state does not have a case against me. Every time we come to court prepared for trial, they always find ways to delay the matter,” Dlamini said.

Mathibe said another issue worth noting is that before Dlamini’s court appearance on the 20th of September, they had approached the national prosecuting authority (NPA) requesting a mediation.

“We had written to the NPA for mediation processes. Mediation involves also complainants, the state has a duty to involve complainants,” Dlamini’s attorney said.

Mathibe further explained that the mediation process is a roundtable discussion between the accused, the complainants, and the state in order to find a resolution to the matter.

“On the 5th of October, we received a letter from the NPA, a one-sentence letter that says, ‘your application has been rejected’. No reasons why it was rejected were forthcoming from them,” Mathibe said.

Mathibe added that the state has been advised that they would, in writing, request it to give reasons why the application for mediation had been rejected, “failing which, we will approach the High Court for a review application”.

Clad in African National Congress (ANC) regalia, Dlamini’s supporters gathered outside the court on Friday following the postponement.

Dlamini’s supporters sang struggle songs and chanted, “Mcebo for president”, in relation to the youth activist’s possible run for the presidency of the ANC Youth League.

Bikers who came to support Dlamini lined a portion of the left lane of Ntemi Piliso Street in front of the court in Johannesburg and revved their engines in support of the youth activist.

Mcebo Dlamini with Bikers who came to support him during his pre-trial at the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

Mcebo Dlamini with his supporters outside the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court. Photo: Makhosandile Zulu

Dlamini responded to a question about his political ambitions by saying he does not have any but stated that he is ready to take the lead.

“I don’t have ambitions but I am ready to be sent by young people. Should young people say, ‘Mcebo we feel that you possess everything we need, can you go and compete?’ I will say yes without any hesitation,” Dlamini said.

Dlamini said the support he is receiving from young people and formations like ‘the bikers’ is an indication that “we are touching nerves and we are touching lives and that is what keeps us going”.

“What I can say is that I’m very strong, strong as a buffalo bull,” Dlamini said.

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