The Department of Justice and Correctional Services has denied suggestions that it has bowed to public pressure in the case of #FeesMustFall activist, Kanya Cekeshe.

Minister Ronald Lamola says his department is in the process of assisting Cekeshe with an urgent application for a presidential pardon.

On Monday, the Johannesburg Magistrates’ Court dismissed Cekeshe’s application for leave to appeal his conviction.

The student activist was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2017, with three years suspended, after pleading guilty to burning a police vehicle at the height of the #FeesMustFall protests in 2016.

“He has offered this to other Fees Must Fall activists as well, and he’s simply extending this gesture to Mr Cekeshe and his legal team. Now that there’s a competent conviction by the court, subject to an appeal, we understand. However, in the absence of an appeal this is a remedy that is available for people who have been convicted of crimes which can be said to have been committed in the interest of society in general. So that’s the measure that the Minister has taken, to say that there is this legal remedy that’s available, and we are able to extend it to yourself if you willing to have a look at it,” says Crispin Phiri, Department spokesperson.

 

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