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DA: Lamola is showing contempt for courts in Kanya Cekeshe matter

Cekeshe’s bail and application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence were dismissed at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Monday.

FILE: Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Democratic Alliance (DA) on Tuesday accused Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola of showing contempt for the justice system by trying to assist Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe to apply for a presidential pardon.

Cekeshe’s bail and application for leave to appeal his conviction and sentence were dismissed at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Monday.

His legal team petitioned the Johannesburg High Court for an urgent bail application while Lamola vowed that his department would assist Cekeshe to get a presidential pardon.

“For the minister to enter the arena, making a mockery of the hard work of the NPA in pursuing the case and securing a conviction, and showing contempt for the judiciary by suggesting that their work should simply be undone by the stroke of a presidential pen is something that should concern us all,” said the DA’s spokesperson on justice Glynnis Breytenbach.

Breytenbach added: “If there are no consequences for delinquent behaviour how will the criminal justice system hold those responsible for the serious offences now being exposed in the Zondo commission of inquiry and other commissions dealing with graft and wrongdoing? On what basis should prosecutors and the SAPS continue to work hard in difficult circumstances to hold people to account if the attitude of the minister is simply to expunge criminal records and assist in obtaining presidential pardons.”

In 2017, Cekeshe was sentenced to eight years in jail - with three years suspended - for malicious damage to property after he was found guilty of setting alight a police vehicle during Fees Must Fall protests.

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