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The chains have fallen: Kanya Cekeshe is free

The student activist has been behind bars since December 2017, serving an eight-year sentence for damage to property and public violence during the Fees Must Fall protests in 2016.

A screengrab of Kanya Cekeshe in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on 14 October 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Fees Must Fall activist Kanya Cekeshe has been released from prison on Tuesday morning.

Cekeshe was one of the inmates whose sentence was reduced by 12 months after President Cyril Ramaphosa granted remissions to thousands of prisoners on Reconciliation Day.

The student activist has been behind bars since December 2017, serving an eight-year sentence for damage to property and public violence during the Fees Must Fall protests in 2016.

Cekeshe left the Leeuwkop Correctional Services in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, merely a day after AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo was released.

The Department of Justice’s Chrispin Phiri said: “We can confirm that Cekeshe is at home with his family. This follows the remissions announcement by President Ramaphosa and the clarification later on by Minister [Ronald] Lamola, where they indicated that Cekeshe’s sentence has been reduced by a year, effectively meaning he’s available for parole immediately.”