South African Police debunk former WITS Student Leader`s Arrest Rumours

The South African Police Service on Wednesday, denied that former Witwatersrand University (Wits) student leader Mcebo Dlamini had not been arrested or detained at any police station in Gauteng, or in any other province.

Police spokesperson Brigadier Sally de Beer said that it was unfortunate that rumours of Dlamini’s alleged arrest on Wednesday had been disseminated via social media and the media before the facts had been verified.

“The rumours were apparently fuelled by an SMS, allegedly from Dlamini to a radio show producer, in which it was claimed that he had been arrested. This has led to several police members having to dedicate – and waste – their time on establishing beyond doubt that he had not been arrested or detained on any charge relating to the #FeesMustFall student protest or otherwise,” De Beer said.

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The 30-year-old, who was released on bail last week, faces charges of public violence, theft, malicious damage to property and assault with the intent to cause grievous bodily harm, sprouting from the student protests for free education.

On Tuesday, the case against Dlamini was postponed by the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court to June 2017 after Dlamini’s defence team launched an application at the High Court to have charges dropped due to what they said were charges that were “politically motivated”.
De Beer said that during the course of Wednesday morning, different variations of the story of his alleged arrest and place of detention were preferred, with each one proving to be incorrect.

“The SAPS, through a spokesperson, placed it on record with several journalists that we had no knowledge of his arrest,” De Beer said.

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“When the South African Police Service did arrest Dlamini several weeks ago, it was after a thorough investigation, and he was processed through the criminal justice system as required by law, after which he was granted bail.”

De Beer said that SAPS was looking into the circumstances of the claims which had been made on Wednesday as it seemed that there had been a deliberate attempt to cast the police in a negative light by an individual or individuals who clearly had an agenda.

“Those who have been economical with the truth should be exposed.”



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