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Student activists hand over memorandum calling for amnesty for Khanya Cekeshe

They’re demanding amnesty for fellow activist Khanya Cekeshe who is serving an eight-year sentence for setting fire to a police vehicle during the 2016 demonstrations calling for free higher education.

FILE: Fees Must Fall activist Bonginkosi Khanyile calls for amnesty from the President at a media briefing. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A group of student activists who walked from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng for 15 days have handed over their memorandum to the Union Buildings.

Led by Bonginkosi Khanyile, they’re demanding amnesty for fellow activist Khanya Cekeshe who is serving an eight-year sentence for setting fire to a police vehicle during the 2016 demonstrations calling for free higher education.

Last year, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said there would be no blanket exemption from prosecution for students linked to the Fees Must Fall protests.

The Presidency's Director-General Cassius Lubisi met with the group on Wednesday and informed them that they would look into the memorandum which also addresses unemployment and other youth-related issues.

The Education for Social Justice Foundation has added its voice to calls for the release of the student activists.

Education activist Hendrick Makaneta said: “Institutions have been intransigent to transform and that is why we believe that this generation of Fees Must Fall leaders have taken the baton correctly to ensure that in the end, we are all able to enjoy free higher education, especially students who are coming from poor backgrounds.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)